The latest measures taken by the government to try to stop the drainage of dollars Central Bank (BCRA) and avoid further devaluation of the peso they began to undermine one of the supports of the reserves: private bank deposits in dollars.
These outflows of funds, which helped gross reserves reach their lowest level in three years and eight months ago yesterday, deepened on Tuesday, the banks acknowledged.
The currency holiday actually that the measures provoked by the retail trade by forcing the banks to carry out a series of checks which make it impossible to enable the operation even with surcharges, it created mistrust. In addition, there is the obligation for some companies to renegotiate foreign currency liabilities that fall due in less than six months. The result was saving savers, as from the same Wednesday (day after the announcements) they began to demand turns from the banks to make withdrawals through the window, as they adopted LA NACION in several private banks.
This put BCRA on standby yesterday, which hastened to sign an agreement with Anses to try to rehabilitate savings operations before the end of this week, following a request that the banks had raised to warn of the effect of this paralysis. has among its depositors.
Private deposits in dollars had accumulated for two months, after a five-month decline due to the fear generated by quarantine and the incentives available to phase them out in the informal market to earn a significant income in pesos. After contracting for more than $ 2.6 billion in the previous semester, they had risen by an average of 1.3% in July and August, months when the total portfolio of these loans amounted to almost $ 400 million. because they were fed by the massive buy save dollars.
However, the recovery trend, which had already been broken at the end of the first week of the month, when it became clear that the success of debt swaps failed to change expectations, was reversed following the latest announcements of exchange rate measures..
Official figures show that total private investment in dollars, which had started last week to 17,414 million US dollars, fell to 17,246 million US dollars last Friday. According to the latest official data, between Tuesday 15 (the one with the announcements), Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 September, net withdrawals of deposits for 67 million dollars, on Friday 18 there were 100 million US dollars.
In the consulted banks, they coincide with describing that withdrawals have increased with the past of the days. And data from this Tuesday confirms this: the exchange of dollar banknotes for the transfer of dollars to the BCRA was in high demand, a mechanism that banks turn to to cover the outflow of cash deposits as they grow. “You have not seen so many positions in a long time,” explained one operator.
In general, they comment on it Depositors do not express distrust of the financial system, which reaches this step with a liquidity close to 75% in dollars (between what they keep floating to participate in cash withdrawals and what is protected in tips) after more than two years of driving, data that reveals its robustness. In addition, an additional SEK 6,100 million is invested in loans to exporting companies and with repayment capacity. What savers fear is the possibility that the reserve crisis before BCRA could lead to a new confiscation or mandatory restructuring of these investments.
That and the feeling of political crisis that was installed with the disagreements between the officials responsible for the economy (and its similarities with similar shorts registered under the mandate of Mauricio Macri) gave rise to endless rumors in the last days and yesterday.
“The problem today is not in the banks, as in 2001, but in BCRA. Can BCRA today withstand 50% withdrawal of dollar deposits, like the one that occurred from August to December 2019? It should, but the latest measures created fear. “Explains the financial analyst Christian Buteler.
“There is no solid reason for problems with deposits in dollars or pesos. The system is floating and protected in both currencies. BCRA should order banks to open without restrictions so that those who prefer to participate and withdraw their deposits do so “explained the economist Fabio Rodríguez, partner in the consulting company M&R Asociados.
“Between reserve requirements and cash, the banks are very liquid. The essential conditions of the system are very solid.” said the analyst Leandro Ziccarelli.
In reality, the crisis of confidence exceeds savers. It also covers investors, especially those who agreed to swap their Argentine bonds to bet that a recovery will help them regain these holdings in a few years.
Inverted bond yield curves show that they fear a crisis. While short-term bonds yield up to 15.5%, long-term bonds, which mature from 2040 onwards, give up to one and a half points less. In other words, “they are valued better because it is believed that, despite possible short-term repercussions, the country will have a greater chance of finding a recovery path in the long term,” explains one bond trader.
This is reflected in a country risk that continues to rise and climbed another 1.4% during the day (it was 1357 points), to accumulate a 22% increase since its downward adjustment due to the introduction of the new Titles. This rise means that Argentina is once again discussing the management of the table of risky emerging countries, less than 20 days after ending the swaps that provided significant relief in the country’s payment commitments for several years.
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