Argentine peso dips to record low in informal trade

miércoles 9 de junio de 2010 17:05 ART

* Peso weakens on risk aversion, cenbank controls

* Spread between informal and formal markets widens (Adds details on controls, quote, price on formal market)

BUENOS AIRES, June 9 (Reuters) - Argentina's peso closed at a historic low on Wednesday on the informal market, pressured by global risk aversion and tightened central bank controls on U.S. dollar purchases, traders said.

The peso ARSB= closed 0.19 percent weaker at 4.005/4.01 per U.S. dollar, according to Reuters data, surpassing lows reached during a severe economic crisis in 2002. Volume was modest.

Argentina's currency has slowly depreciated in nominal terms over the last two years with the backing of the central bank, which intervenes almost daily in the formal interbank market, where the peso closed unchanged at 3.915/3.9175 ARS=RASL.

This week, the central bank started requiring that purchases exceeding $20,000 per month be made through bank transfers, rather than in cash, and that buyers of $250,000 or more per year prove they have declared their assets to the tax agency.

Also, as of Friday, the central bank will reduce operations whereby Argentines buy bonds and stocks that trade abroad and immediately sell them to effectively exchange their pesos for dollars without passing through the foreign-exchange market.

The exchange rate implicit in these operations has risen to around 4.10 per dollar, according to local media reports.

"These controls do not help," said one currency trader, adding that demand for dollars rose due to a broader drive to seek refuge in the U.S. currency amid global market volatility tied to the European debt crisis.   Continuación...