BUENOS AIRES, April 17 Argentina's black market
peso slid 2.1 percent to a near-record low on Wednesday
afternoon as customers sought a safe haven for their savings,
fearing the currency will keep losing value in coming months.
The informal peso, which is measured by Reuters, was trading
at 8.67/8.70 per dollar. That brought the difference between the
black-market and official exchange rates to 69 percent - a gap
that some economists say is not sustainable.
"The market plummeted," a trader said. "Retail business is
constant as people look for dollars in cash."
President Cristina Fernandez imposed controls on foreign
currency purchases soon after she won re-election in 2011 and
they have been tightened considerably since then.
Buying dollars and other foreign currency at the official
exchange rate is tightly regulated, forcing many to turn to the
black market and pay a high premium over the official rate or
pay a credit card levy to withdraw cash overseas.
The government is expected to keep allowing the official
peso to lose value in coming months, though at a slow pace.
The official exchange rate on Wednesday was 5.115/5.1575 per
dollar. The record low for the informal peso was 8.75 per
dollar, set on March 20.