The first balance of the market is that the Central lost less reserves and managed to tame the greenback. However, the market is not quiet </p><div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the end of the first week of the exchange controls imposed by the Government, the balance they make in the market has two edges. On the one hand, they emphasize that the Central Bank managed to put a ceiling on the price, practically without having to sacrifice reserves. On the other hand, they warn that the gap between the official exchange rate and the Cash Withdrawal (CCL) widened, something expected after measures that restrict supply, but with a jump that turns on a yellow light in the City.</span>
In parallel to the exchange rate, the monetary agency modified its mode of intervention in the exchange market, with a much more effective and forceful action to contain the currency.
Until last week, and by requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only intervened through auctions, a method that serves to inject liquidity into the market but does not usually have a great effect on the price.
Thus, from Tuesday to Friday, it sold a total of US $ 1,279 million, at a rate of US $ 320 million per day. The price, meanwhile, did not find a ceiling and the pressure on the exchange rate was fed, to the point that forced the Government to impose the stocks.
This week, however, the BCRA strategy was different. As was the case prior to the first agreement with the IMF, the agency's table of money began selling dollars directly in the spot market, something key not only to curb the rise in the exchange rate but also to minimize the bleeding of reservations for market interventions.
A 20% gap
In fact, according to the calculations they make in the banks (information on their sales is published after three days) the BCRA would have sold only about US $ 190 million. On Tuesday, according to official data, the intervention was $ 135 million and on Wednesday, as estimated by the City, it sold between $ 50 million and $ 55 million. By marking a ceiling, and with the stocks beginning to bear fruit, the BCRA did not have to intervene on Thursday or Friday.
"Between the modification of how the bank's dollar position is computed and the 'exchange umbrella', the BCRA has managed to stabilize the official exchange rate, given that the potential demand for dollars has been restricted," explains Norberto Sosa, director to Invest in Stock Market.
Along the same lines, from Consultatio Investment, they highlighted the calm that was achieved in the official exchange market. "If the measures prove to be effective and manage to reduce the drainage of reserves that the BCRA faced from the PASO, then the probability of an extreme scenario of generalized default is significantly reduced and the credibility and feasibility of a more 'friendly' exchange proposal rises ", they explained in their latest weekly report.
In any case, they add that "another measure of the effectiveness of controls (apart from the variation of the BCRA reserves) is the magnitude of the exchange gap (the difference between the dollar counted and the one with settlement)."
On Friday, the price of the dollar in the official market was $ 55.82 while the one that came from doing cash transactions was $ 66.77, a gap of 19.6%. The cash settlement is the price that arises from buying an asset in the local market (bond or share) and selling it in the foreign market, in order to get dollars out of the country bypassing the exchange rate.
The number that follow in the City
The difference between the two contributions was more limited in the first days of the week, something that is explained because some funds had their dollars abroad and had to enter them to face bailouts. "On Wednesday the operation was normalized and on Friday the gap began to widen," explains the operator of a stock exchange.
"The cash with liquidation was more taker. It seems to me that there are maturities in pesos and the gap becomes taken because all the funds that have bonds in pesos abroad cannot leave otherwise that is not counted with liquidation," he says. Santiago López Alfaro, partner and director of Delphos Investment.
With the same vision, the Cohen research department commented in its weekly report that they believe that "the exchange gap between the official dollar and the CCL may widen in the coming months, as the collection of bond coupons takes place in pesos by institutional investors from abroad, who, when unable to access the exchange market, would be forced to use the CCL exchange rate to repatriate the coupons collected. "
According to their calculations, 50% of the maturities for the remainder of the year (about US $ 930 million) is concentrated in the month of October, before the general elections.
That the gap between the official price and the one with liquidation, which reached almost 20%, is a number that they monitor in the City and some already calculate what an equilibrium price should be.
"Between 2012/2015, this exchange rate relationship has tended to converge towards the convertibility exchange rate," analyzes the director of Investing in the Stock Exchange and adds: "It is important that the relationship between monetary liabilities and reserves of the BCRA does not deteriorate , so that the gap does not increase and generate more inflationary pressure. "
In Consultatio, on the other hand, they tend to think "that an equilibrium exchange gap around 10% seems reasonable." Anyway, they warn that there is an element that must be taken into account: "Until November, a total of US $ 2,500 million between coupons and amortization of bonds in pesos, with large participation of foreign holders that could exercise some of cash pressure with liquidation in the short term. "
It is key to monitor this gap to see the exchange rate that the market sees, since sooner rather than later the official price tends to converge towards the parallel dollar price.
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