LatinNews Daily - 01 July 2022

In brief: Colomba’s Petro names pick for finance minister

*Colombia’s left-wing president-elect Gustavo Petro has named José Antonio Ocampo as his choice of finance minister. A former co-director of Colombia’s central bank (Banrep) (2017-2019), finance minister (1996-1997) and agriculture minister (1993-1994), Ocampo is one of Colombia’s most well-known economists and his appointment should provide reassurances to markets and other sectors. Indicative of the challenges facing the incoming government, which takes office on 7 August, yesterday Banrep raised interest rates by 150 basis points to 7.5%, which Bloomberg notes is the largest increase since 1999. Banrep cited high inflation which reached 9.07% in May year-on-year. While down from 9.23% in April, this is still significantly above the bank’s target of 3% for 2022.

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