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Peru’s Central Bank Buys Most Dollars in Five Months to Tame Sol

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« on: January 14, 2013, 03:29:14 pm »

Peru’s Central Bank Buys Most Dollars in Five Months to Tame Sol
14 January 2013, by John Quigley (Bloomberg)

Peru’s central bank bought the most dollars since August to stem a sol rally as tax payments and accelerating economic growth spurred demand for local currency.

Banco Central de Reserva del Peru bought $350 million in the spot market today, the most since Aug. 16, and said on its website it paid an average 2.5379 soles per U.S. dollar.

The central bank bought a record $13.9 billion last year and raised reserve requirements five times as investors moved money into South America’s fastest-growing economy.

The annual pace of economic activity unexpectedly accelerated to 6.8% in November, led by construction, the national statistics agency reported today.

“The rationale for inflows coming into the country, more investors interested in diversifying into Peru, is still in place,” Alejandro Cuadrado, the head of Latin American currency strategy at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), said in a phone interview from New York.

“Resistance from the central bank” won’t reverse gains in the currency though further increases in reserve requirements are possible.

The sol appreciated 0.3% to 2.5375 per U.S. dollar today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That is the currency’s strongest closing level since October 1996, data from Peru’s financial regulator show.

Companies bought local currency before an annual deadline for income tax payments while banks reduced their dollar holdings after meeting higher reserve requirements announced Dec. 30,

Gonzalo Navarro, the head trader at the local unit of Banco Santander SA, said in an e-mailed note to clients.
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