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Sergio Massa's move to stop the dollar and contain a rebound in inflation


The Economy Minister announced the repurchase of bonds in dollars. Although he said it was to improve the debt profile, the measure seeks to cool the exchange rate pressure and its impact on prices.

In the midst of renewed tension on the exchange front, the Government

came out this Wednesday with a battery of measures that aims to contain the gap and cool inflation expectations, which had a rebound in January, along with the exchange tension


In this sense, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, announced that he will repurchase debt securities in dollars for up to US$ 1,000 million.

Almost at the same time, the Central Bank reported that it will pay more fees to banks for issuing passes, a measure that aims to remove pesos from circulation and discourage dollarization.


We saw a drop of a thousand points or more in the country risk

in Argentina and it is a window. That is why we have made the decision to carry out a process of repurchasing the Argentine external debt for more than one billion dollars that begins on the day of today," Massa said.

From the lows reached in June and July of last year, bonds in dollars began to rise and

now accumulate improvements of more than 60% in four months



country risk fell by more than 19%

this year alone and after the announcement it again broke the floor of 1,800 units.

The high level of the JP Morgan bank indicator is what keeps Argentina excluded from international markets and is what explains, in part, the

persistent lack of dollars

in the country and its consequent exchange rate tensions.

This first step consists of US$ 1,000 million and will be focused on global bonds, especially

those that mature in 2029, 2030.

The minister clarified that "this is where we have to attack for the best management of the debt profile and the profile of maturities of Argentina".


these are the two bonds that local investors use the most to carry out the purchase and sale operations

that translate into MEP and Cash with Liquidation dollars.

Both quotes present a new and persistent upward pressure that, according to market operators, is not yet reflected in the prices as a result of constant intervention by official organizations that go out to sell on the end of the wheel.

"The official argument is that it serves to improve the maturity profile, but that

does not seem logical:

the country has much more imminent problems to deal with something that happens during the next term. So yes, it indirectly aims to

reduce the gap

" said Francisco Mattig, from Consultatio.

The Government,

which has already given all the signs that it will not validate a discrete jump in the exchange rate

-that is, an adjustment of the gap "from the floor"-, now seeks to contain the highest part of it.

Following the announcement, bonds rose more than 6%.

This implies that the government "will find it more expensive" for the bonds it intends to repurchase.

Massa said:

"We have made the decision in a joint resolution of the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury

to entrust the Central Bank, for greater transparency, to carry out this repurchase process on behalf of the Treasury."

As Clarín was able to learn

, those dollars will not come directly from the coffers of the Central, but will be "own resources of the Treasury."

However, in a context of declining reserves again and with the income of dollars jeopardized by the drought in the countryside, this raises a red flag for market analysts.

The economist Martín Polo, from Cohen, explained:

"The Government is doing everything possible to contain the exchange rate gap

and that the cash with settlement does not skyrocket, intervening everything that has to intervene.

This, for Polo

"from one point of view could be positive, but there are many dark spots."

Among them, he pointed out that the intervention in the bond market will provoke "artificial prices", in a context where the demand for dollarization and the incentives remain intact.

"In the short term, it can generate a containment effect, but in the general picture of Argentina, the unknown remains where the dollars are going to come from. The country has a very low level of reserves that forces it to carry out exchange controls, which that's what ultimately triggers the gap," he said.

Almost immediately after the announcement,

the Central Bank informed the market that it will raise the "prize" paid for one-day pass rates by 200 points


These are very short-term instruments in which banks invest so as not to lose their liquidity.

"The passive repo rate at 1 business day term is 72% while for active operations at 1 business day term it is 97%," reported the agency, which raised this yield to ensure that entities maintain their placements of pesos and avoid that the surpluses go to the exchange market.


This combination

of repurchasing bonds in dollars and raising the repo rate in pesos

should cause the bonds to rise more in dollars than in pesos," they

explained in an official dispatch.

Source: clarin

All business articles on 2023-01-19

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