ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Friday February 08, 2013 | Update
 
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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Venezuela devalues currency by 46.5%; VEB at 6.30 per US dollar

Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani announced the new foreign exchange rate valid in Venezuela

Central bank chair Nelson Merentes (right) announced the elimination of the Transaction System for Foreign Currency Denominated Securities (Sitme) (Photo: TV screen capture)
EL UNIVERSAL
Friday February 08, 2013  04:36 PM
Venezuelan Minister of Planning and Finance Jorge Giordani announced on Friday an adjustment in the official exchange rate, from VEB 4.30 per US dollar to VEB 6.30 per US dollar, which implies 46.5% devaluation.

The increase in the exchange rate will help improve public accounts, which ended 2012 with a fiscal deficit of 16% of gross domestic product. The move will be a breath of fresh air for state-run oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), as the company will get more bolivars per US dollar sold to the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).

Additionally, chair of BCV Nelson Merentes announced that the Transaction System for Foreign Currency Denominated Securities (Sitme) has been removed. "The system was not meeting the objectives in some aspects. It was flawed," said Merentes in a press conference.

Further, he noted that authorities are to encourage US dollar accounts in Venezuela. "Since June 2012, the opening of foreign currency accounts was authorized (in Venezuela) and we will create mechanisms that facilitate these flows of foreign exchange," said Merentes.

He explained that deposits in bolivars for up to USD 2,000 monthly will be allowed in the cases specified in the relevant regulation, including the following: individuals can make transfers to their accounts abroad; they can make remittances to relatives abroad; receive pensions from abroad and payments for consulting in foreign currency.
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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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