April 30, 2013 / 12:30 AM / in 5 years

REFILE-Peru central bank loosens rules for loans in soles

LIMA, April 29 (Reuters) - Peru’s central bank said on Monday it was loosening rules for lenders making longer-term loans on homes and autos denominated in the sol currency as part of a bid to “de-dollarize” the economy.

Lenders making the loans will face slightly less demanding margin rules as measured by their effective assets, the central bank said.

Around half of Peru’s banking system consists of accounts denominated in U.S. dollars.

The sol is trading near a 16-year-high. The appreciation of the sol, especially over the past two years, has encouraged more people to take on loans in dollars with the hope that their loan payments will fall if the sol extends its gains.

Despite the latest move, the central bank has repeatedly raised deposit rules on bank accounts in dollars over the past two years to curb the pace of credit growth and inflows of foreign cash into the economy, which is forecast to grow about 6 percent this year.

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