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  HOME | Argentina

Argentina Scraps Currency Controls
Starting Thursday, people will be able to buy dollars without restriction and “to export and import freely,” Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said

BUENOS AIRES – The new Argentine government announced on Wednesday the end of currency controls imposed four years ago by then-President Cristina Fernandez.

Starting Thursday, people will be able to buy dollars without restriction and “to export and import freely,” Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay told a press conference.

The move, which was expected, comes less than a week after the inauguration of conservative businessman Mauricio Macri as Argentina’s president.

The lifting of the controls was made possible by the fulfillment of several conditions, Prat-Gay said, citing Macri’s decree sharply reducing levies on agricultural exports, the appointment of new management at the central bank and the “certainty” of additional funds to bolster Argentina’s international reserves, currently $24.28 billion.

Argentina will take in an extra $15 billion to $20 billion over the next four weeks thanks to accords with international banks, grain exporters and China’s central bank, the finance minister said.

The foreign exchange controls, imposed by Fernandez in October 2011 amid concerns about a decline in Argentina’s international reserves, gave rise to an extensive black market in dollars.

While the official exchange rate is 9.8 pesos to the dollar, a greenback sells for around 15 pesos on the black market.

 

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