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The dollar exchange has taken an upwards swing in the past week, rising more than ¢10 colones in the past week.

The Buy for one US dollar this morning posted by the Banco Central is ¢503.58 and the sell at ¢515.40. The exchange rate is as high as ¢506 for the buy and ¢520 for the sell at Scotiabank and ¢505.50 and ¢51450 at the state bank, Banco de Costa Rica (BCR). Other banks, both private and state, have similar exchange rates.

The rise in the dollar is said to be for several reasons. One is the cyclical movememt for the US currency at the end of the year and beginning of new.

Roger Madrigal, director of the División Económica at the Central Bank, assures that the change is not part of the normal movements of the currency band.

The appreciation in the dollar may not be long lasting. Bank officials predict that the exchange will return to floor of the currency bank as there are plenty of dollars entering Costa Ricain search of high interest earnings in colones.

There is fear among the banks about speculation by investors, both local and foreign, seeking to profit from the situation, forcing the Central Bank to step in to stem the flow of the dollar.

Fernando Naranjo, General Manger of the Banco Nacional (BN), says that in recent months there has been a high flow of currency from the exterior, known as “capitales golondrina” (“vagabond capital).

Last week Central Bank president, Rodrigo Bolaños, said that in January there would be adjustments made to curb speculative inflow of capital. Bolaños would not be speficic on his comments, only saying that when the change occurs it will be announced.