Reserves slide $1.62 BL, further juggling?

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After crude juggling of figures by Argentine Statistics and Census Institute (INDEC, in its Spanish acronym), Argentine Central Bank had stayed almost as the sole official entity safe from such manoeuvres. Up to now. A careful analysis of the information disclosed by the institution headed by Martín Redrado on reserves shows serious differences between data sent to the press and that revealed on the Internet days after.

The difference is not just a rounding off. Rather, it goes beyond $400 millions and, oddly enough, it extends in time. An example: according to Argentine Central Bank (BCRA, in its Spanish acronym), reserves till October 12 were climbing to $42.51 billions. However, in the report given to the press (which uses the information to write articles on that day, which are in turn published on the following day), the stock reached to $42.94 billions. But wait a minute, the e-mail from BCRA press office makes it clear that such "item of information is subject to closing adjustments."

Correct piece of information

Confirmation comes two days after. In the case of October 12, for example, it was made through Press Release «C» 49,215, where the correct item of information was included, which differed by more than $400 millions from the one reported to the press. Of course, this piece of info is never trailed on the website.

On the other hand, oddly enough, when reserve level was climbing and breaking records, no differences were observed between both reports. This phenomenon strengthened as reserve decrease become sharper at the beginning of August. Not only does reserve stock amount differ between report for the press and the official one, but also the flow. For example, between October 11 and 12, the press was informed about a reserve reduction "due to payments to IDB and World Bank" of $62 millions (moving from $43 billions to $42.94 billions). Yet, in fact, according to BCRA data on the Internet, decline settled at $102 millions (from $42.62 billions to $42.51 billions).

It may be an involuntary mistake. But, taking into account that BCRA is intervening almost daily to avoid dollar rise, it's crucial information for investors. All the same, considering BCRA official data and leaving aside figures the entity transmits to the press, one can rebuild international reserve development during the last months.

Reserves reached their top level on July 24, after climbing to $44.23 billions. On October 18, almost three months after, they leaped to $42.61 billions. We are talking about a $1.62-billion loss, equivalent to 3.67 per cent. Different factors mix up: sales of foreign currencies to put a cap on exchange rate; net payments to multilateral organizations and modifications of exchange rate (working in favour thanks to euro and gold revaluation in this period).


Only during the second fortnight of September did a truce take place, when better market climate stirred up net inflow of foreign currencies, which extended for a short time, since, only a few days after, strong demand of foreign currencies returned.

Another suggestive piece of information: as BCRA official figures show, reserves plunged from $43-billion level on September 14. But, according to what the entity sends on a daily basis to the press, that only happened on October 12, that's to say, almost a month after.

During the last days, people as well as corporations look more prone to renew time deposits, with two alternatives: moving to demand deposits or directly buying dollars. For that reason, rates have risen and there's greater pressure on dollar quote.

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