The Argentine primary next Sunday when the different parties will choose their candidates for the midterm elections of 22 October, and the possibility of a comeback of ex president Cristina Fernandez, and all that she represents, has cost the Argentine central bank so far over a billion dollars in the last ten days.
Argentina's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in two weeks in a surprise move amid market expectations it would hold steady after a high inflation reading and U.S. elections last week.
Argentina’s international currency reserves rose above the landmark US$40 billion for the first time in three and a half years last Friday, as a huge inflow of dollars from government-issued debt and some exports over the last few days caused some dramatic increases this week. The milestone, according to Central Bank chief Federico Sturzenegger, was “a sign of growing investor confidence in the country.”
Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was charged on Friday with defrauding the state as part of her government's handling of the dollar futures market. Federal judge Claudio Bonadio said that a scheme to keep the Argentine peso inflated by selling dollars below market value would not have been possible without Fernandez's approval.
Argentina will issue a fresh round of dollar-denominated debt notes worth an estimated US$8 billion in the next few days, top officials from the Finance Ministry confirmed. The government will “very soon” issue a new Treasury note to capture dollars that are being stored “under the mattress” in a process that will kick off with a meeting with bankers, Finance Secretary Luis Caputo said.The Argentine government hopes to bring in US$5 billion through the issuance.
Hundreds of supporters are expected to cheer former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez during a court appearance on Wednesday after returning to Buenos Aires for the first time since November's election.Fernandez who governed Argentina for eight years, has been called to testify about alleged irregularities in dollar futures trading that led to losses of almost US$4 billion for the central bank. Her allies say no crime was involved and that she's being politically persecuted.
Argentina's Finance Minister Alfonso Prat Gay said on Thursday that the first day in the market without the dollar restrictions imposed by the previous administration, had been positive and as they had planned or expected. Compared to the previous multi-tier system, the dollar appreciated in the range of 25% against the Peso in the unified market.
Argentina Central Bank President Alejandro Vanoli resigned Wednesday under pressure from President-elect Mauricio Macri, who plans to remove currency controls with reserves standing at a nine-year low.
Argentina's incoming Finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay spoke with the United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to discuss economic plans to achieve sustained economic growth. The minister also announced in a long interview with Buenos Aires main dailies that lifting the dollar 'clamp' as promised by president-elect Mauricio Macri, will much depend on the level of international reserves Argentina can count with.
Brazilian banks which follow closely events in Argentina and prospects of the new government under president Mauricio Macri, believe the official exchange rate of 9.67 Pesos to the dollar will inevitably have to be devalued, to 12 Pesos by the end of the year, which means a 24% depreciation.