After the "incentive" measures launched last week by the BCRA, public and private banks are offering loans at 24% rates and current account overdrafts for SME salary payments. It estimates that some $1.864 billion (120 billion pesos) will go into these loans. The terms in the financial institutions vary between 90 days and 24 months.
Manufacturers and sellers of new cars are facing a reality that is too changeable. With the volume of operations already reduced to 460,000 units in 2019, the data for the first months of 2020 projected a drop to 360,000 vehicles. As the pandemic begins to set the economic pace and these estimates become outdated, the outlook drops to 200,000 cars this year. In March, half of the month with only 17,000 units sold and little will be concrete -on line- while mobility restrictions continue.
Crude oil prices fell sharply on Monday, with the international benchmark Brent losing $1.99 to $22.94 a barrel, a 7.98% drop. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil in the United States dropped 96 cents to $20.55, 4.46%.
The national government will launch measures to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus in the hydrocarbon sector. It would not extend any more the increase of the Liquid Fuels Tax (ICL) and the Carbon Dioxide Tax (IDC), next Wednesday the taxes will raise about 3 pesos per litre. Hydrocarbon-producing provinces demand a $54 barrel from the government, distribution companies demand value of $30, and the government negotiates to reach a break-even point. There is an excess of 200,000 barrels of oil per day. Brent oil, the reference for Argentina, fell on Friday to $26 on average.
The tourist dollar (which carries a 30% surcharge for the Country Tax) rose this Friday 40 cents to 86.37 pesos. The official retail price rose 31 cents to 66.44 pesos. In the wholesale market, the U.S. currency appreciated to 64.41 pesos. The blue dollar fell to 83.5 pesos. The Cash with Liquidation (CCL) - which is obtained from the purchase and sale of shares or bonds - closed at 86.49 pesos, so the gap with the wholesale dollar widened to 34.3%. BCRA's International Reserves fell this Friday $131 million to $43.735 million
Stocks and sovereign bonds plunged more than 14% on Friday; Argentine papers suffered declines of up to 14.1%, the S&P Merval stock index fell a sharp 5.6%, to a provisional close of 24,058.60 units. Argentina's country risk, as measured by JP.Morgan bank, rose 38 units to 4,185 points and the shorter dollar bonds sank to 8.1%.