Brazil central bank speeds up pace of currency swap rollovers

BRASILIA Fri Aug 8, 2014 7:07pm EDT

BRASILIA Aug 8 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank said on Friday it will increase the pace of the rollover of currency swaps that expire in early September, a sign that it wants to slow down the recent depreciation of the real.

The bank said it will increase to 10,000 the number of swaps it will offer for rollover on Monday morning, up from the 8,000 contracts that it has been offering since the beginning of August.

The currency swaps are derivatives that provide protection against losses in the real and mimic an injection of dollars in the futures market. The bank has been selling swaps as part of a daily intervention program that bolsters the real by reducing demand for the American currency.

At Monday's rollover auction, the bank will offer contracts that mature on May 4 and Aug. 3, 2015, a central bank statement said.

The bank has so far rolled over $1.977 billion, or one fifth of the $10 billion in swaps that mature at the beginning of September. At the new pace, it could roll over 95 percent of the swaps due in early September if there are takers.

Last month, it offered as many as 7,000 contracts per day to roll over some $9.5 billion worth of swaps that expired on Aug. 1, renewing about 70 percent of those contracts.

The regular sale of swaps has helped the real gain more than 3 percent so far this year.

The central bank has succeeded in stabilizing the real largely within 2.20 to 2.25 per dollar since April, though the currency weakened past that level this month as fears of higher U.S. interest rates increased globally.

The real closed on Friday at 2.2858 per dollar. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler)