- Title: ARGENTINA: PESO FALLS TO RECORD LEVELS AS ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY CONTINUES.
- Date: 23rd March 2002
- Summary: (U7) BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (MARCH 22, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/LV: LONG LINES OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE BANCO NACION (5 SHOTS) 0.33 2. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALEJANDRO, A BANK CUSTOMER, INQUIRED ABOUT WHY HE BUYS DOLLARS, SAYING: "Because they fired me from my job and this is my way of saving money." 0.39 3. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIEGO, QUEUING OUTSIDE A BANK, COMMENTING ON THE PRICE OF THE DOLLAR, SAYING: "They will not be able to stop it. I think the price of the dollar will be set between three and four pesos. In two months, I think we will have a four-peso dollar." 0.54 4. CU/MV: EXCHANGE BUREAU BOARD READING "BUY 2:45 SELL 2:68"/ PEOPLE LINING UP OUTSIDE OF EXCHANGE BUREAU (2 SHOTS) 1.01 5. GV/PAN: POLICE OFFICERS LOOKING FOR BLACK MARKET DOLLAR TRADERS (2 SHOTS) 1.09 6. GV/MV/CU: BOARD ON EXCHANGE BUREAU READING "BUY 2:75 SELL 2:95"/PEOPLE LINING UP ON THE STREET/ PEOPLE LOOKING AT PRICE CURRENCY BOARD/ BOARD ON EXCHANGE BUREAU READING "BUY 2:75 SELL 2:99"/ PEOPLE LOOKING PRICE BOARDS (5 SHOTS) 1.28 7. GV/MV/CU: BANK CUSTOMERS DEMONSTRATING WITH AN INFLATABLE DOVE AND A SYMBOL OF THE ARGENTINE CONSTITUTION/ BANK CUSTOMERS KICKING BANK PROTECTIVE SHIELD/ WOMEN USING POTS AND PANS TO STRIKE BANK'S METAL PROTECTIVE SHIELD/ PEOPLE DEMONSTRATING DOWNTOWN (7 SHOTS) 1.59 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 7th April 2002 13:00
- Location: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Reuters ID: LVADL9I2IDQ2CUKRY5XPK7JX2H4N
- Story Text: The Argentine peso has fallen to record levels amid
growing exasperation of the Argentine people over economic
conditions and still unclear prospects of multilateral aid
coming to Buenos Aires.
The Argentine crisis took another turn for the worse
when the peso fell to record levels on Friday (March 22),
hitting a low of 2.77 to the U.S. dollar, while throngs of
angry citizens took anew to the streets to protest against
President Eduardo Duhalde met during the day with the
International Monetary Fund's managing director, Horst
Koheler, during the development summit meeting in Monterrey,
Mexico, but prospects for urgent multilateral economic aid
With the exchange boards announcing the continuing fall of
the peso against the U.S. dollar, thousands of people lined up
outside exchange bureaus to convert the few pesos they had
into even fewer greenbacks.
The peso weakened to 2.75/2.77 (buy/sell rate) per dollar
for large-scale transactions in the foreign exchange market,
compared with Thursday's (March 21) close at 2.53/2.55,
Regular Argentines traded their pesos at a low of 2.90 per
dollar. The fall means the currency has slid more than 63 per
cent against the greenback since January's devaluation.
The three state banks had earlier offered dollars at
2.30/2.40 pesos, while the Central Bank continued to intervene
in the foreign exchange market to try to prop up the sharply
weakening peso. It offered dollars on Friday at 2.45 pesos.
"The pressure is very intense, people are desperate for
dollars," one currency trader said.
The peso was pegged at par to the dollar for more than a
decade until the cash-strapped government of Argentina
devalued the peso through a dual exchange rate system and then
fully floated it in February.
The peso's depreciation has boosted the Buenos Aires Stock
Exchange, where investors have ploughed their life savings
into equities to preserve purchasing power.
The benchmark MerVal stock index, up a third this year
after plunging in 2001, gained 2.89 per cent to 416.93 in
morning trade. Turnover was light at 6.6 million pesos ($2.4
million), with 23 shares advancing, five declining and seven
"The bourse is going well, because the peso is diving, but
people are going to take their money and run if the peso opens
at 3 to the dollar on Monday (March 25)," said one stock
trader. He called volume "virtual" since funds backing buy and
sell orders are transferred within the frozen bank system's
Energy group Perez Companc, the MerVal's most heavily
weighted share, was the most actively traded stock, gaining
seven centavos to 2.24 pesos.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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