The government left a large part of the tourism sector in shock with a surprising announcement that it made last night: it prohibits banks and cards from financing trips and packages abroad in installments.
Sources of the economic team justified the measure in the need to “take care of the reserves, the dollars” and explained that from now on “a subsidy is cut that means selling a product in dollars that is paid in fixed installments in pesos.”
The decision was made effective and official through a statement from the Central Bank that was released yesterday: “As of 11.26.21, financial and non-financial entities issuing credit cards should not finance purchases made by means of their credit cards in installments. clients –human and legal persons– of tickets abroad and other tourist services abroad (such as accommodation, car rental, etc.), whether carried out directly with the service provider or indirectly, through an agency of travel and / or tourism, web platforms or other intermediaries ”.
“The objective of this norm is to channel the credit without cost towards the internal tourism and not until the external one. This measure seeks to take care of reserves. It is a measure that was taken with the consensus of other government agencies, “said other sources from the economic team.
And they added: “Financing is not prohibited, it is requested that people who travel seek financing or do so through the payment of the minimum of the card summary.”
“Likewise, it is still possible to sell tickets and other services in installments with interest that is around 49 percent,” they pointed out.
The following complete communication released by the BCRA says that “Today the interest rate for these operations is around an average of 43 percent per year. In the case of tickets and domestic tourism packages, they can be marketed through the Now 12 program.
Exchange rate problems are increasingly complex, something that is reflected in an increasingly strict stocks.
“The level of net international reserves borders on worrying lows. Their outlook is not encouraging, ”I warn Iván Cachanosky, an economist at the Fundación Libertad y Progreso, to iProfessional.
According to the figure reported by the BCRA itself, the monetary agency has approximately US $ 43,000 million of total reserves.
“However, almost 84 percent of that amount does not belong to the Central Bank. On the one hand, there are the private dollar deposits for an amount that is around almost US $ 12,000 million. On the other hand, there is little more than US $ 20,000 million corresponding to the swap with China ”, Cachanosky warns.
And he maintains that liquid and readily available reserves are “only” US $ 800 million.