The latest measures to contain the generated dollar unexpected effects. In the first place, it involved the repurchase of public debt in the midst of the rise in bonds and the subsequent opening of an investigation to clarify any doubts about possible news leaks. And now it was in the crosshairs of the banks a decision by the Central Bank to absorb pesos short-term investments.
The financial sector has been surprised this Monday since increase the pass rate to 1 day for money placed by Mutual Investment Funds (FCI), which rose from 54% to 68.4% (annual effective rate of 98.1%). With this improvement, the BCRA improved the performance of mutual funds and made the rates offered by banks less attractive through remunerated current accounts (63.6%) and term accounts (66.5%).
The provision immediately generated a confusion atmosphere in the city where the alarms went off and calls to the authorities multiplied. “With that rate hike, banks lose funding because now it’s more convenient to skip it and go directly to the central bank, they should back off,” warned a banker, displeased by the decision.
Right now, the fear is that there is a “migration” of funds in the very short term of companies and individuals from banks to the BCRA, movements that would begin to be reflected in official data. According to the organization, the stock of passive passes deposited with FCI it went from $1.2 billion last Friday to a record $445 billion this Tuesday.
“A priori, the most obvious is a blow to the bank’s profitability due to the decline in intermediation. The explanation is very simple. Given that FCIs are now much cheaper when it comes to going directly to repos, banks are seeing their business deteriorate, especially when it comes to offering lucrative accounts,” PPI said.
The rate hike has generated controversy in the institution chaired by Miguel Pesce. A Reconquista 266 have denied the rumors of a reversal, but in the last few hours the director has held talks with some bankers and has suggested some corrections. “It looks like there will be a reversal, but not quite,” said another banker.
In essence, the objective of the provision was to raise the surety rate, a credit instrument used by operators and investors to finance their operations. that way, tried to make financing the purchase of financial dollars more expensive. “This was given and made so that it cost more to take credit to buy CCL,” they said in an official dispatch.
On the market, however, it was interpreted as a “strong blow” to the banks. The Consultant 1816 expected a significant increase in the average placement rate in pesos and that “banks will lose a lot of deposits and a lot of profitability” due to the migration of FCI funds – today about $3.5 trillion – to the Central Bank.
Instead, Pesce’s move opened an unexpected front with the Finance Secretariat, chaired by Eduardo Setti. The same subjects who have been fundamental in the last two debt swaps and in the renewal of maturities have already warned that the loss of liquidity it will reduce the scope for investing in Treasuries.
The perception is that it will no longer be so advantageous to buy a bill with a discount in March at an effective rate of 103%, compared with a yield of 98.05% for the day pass. In this context, the government would be forced to do so improve rates of bonds to attract the big players for the debt auction this Friday.
“You get a business from the banks through financial intermediation, which is very important for the Treasury, the bank is the main ally of debt refinancing this year and this creates uncertainty,” explained Pedro Siaba Serrate, of PPI.