LatinNews Daily - 08 March 2023

In brief: Fears of US dollar shortages in Bolivia

* Long queues have formed outside Bolivia’s central bank (BCB) after the BCB announced on 3 March that it would begin the “direct sale” of US dollars to citizens in an attempt to calm intensifying concerns over dollar shortages. Those concerns show no sign of abating, with the BCB yesterday announcing that it would extend its opening hours to allow citizens to withdraw dollars until 9pm from Monday-Friday “to satisfy the demand for dollars from part of the population”. The director of the treasury at the BCB, Claudia Soruco, said yesterday that US$800,000 had been withdrawn by citizens the previous day, and that these dollars were sold at the official exchange rate of B$6.96/US$1. Rumours that the BCB is running low on dollars have been amplified by reports of dollar shortages in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, where people have reportedly been unable to exchange bolivianos or withdraw remittances in dollars.

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