During the last week, there have been important movements in the exchange operations of the Non-Banking Public Sector (SPNB), which has raised the concerns of Costa Ricans about the possible effects that this could have on the exchange rate.
Experts agree that the purchases made by the Central Bank (Banco Central de Costa Rica) on November 28 and 29 for US$137 million and on December 2 for US$375 million, do not have a direct impact on the exchange rate, as they are not traded in the Foreign Currency Market (Monex).
But who are the SPNB companies and why were they taken out of the Monex?
The decision was made by the Central Bank in mid-2014 in order to make purchases and sales of foreign exchange by various entities – such as the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope), Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL), and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) among others, will be carried out directly through the Central Bank to avoid affecting the exchange rate.
“As purchases are made outside of Monex, it is expected that there will be no distortion in the market and that there is no such strong rebound effect in the exchange rate,” economist Daniel Suchar told La Republca.
At the moment, given there is already a high amount of dollars in the market associated with the payment of taxes, and aguinaldos (bonuses), the sales by the SPNB obeys to liquidating operations but not expected to continue in December, according to experts.
“In general, the oversupply of dollars seen in recent weeks should come to an end at some point; however, this will not happen until the currency settlement needs, characteristic of the season ends,” said Melvin Garita, general manager of BN Stock Exchange.
Monday’s purchase by the Central Bank corresponds to the largest recorded in the last five years, that is, since the SPNB was out of the Monex.
The dollar exchange rate saw a rebound of ¢4.36 this morning, going from ó567.65 yesterday to ¢572.01 for sell and ¢3.31 for the buy, going from ¢560.22 to ¢563.53 for the buy.