LatinNews Daily - 28 February 2020

In brief: Currency deregulation continues in Venezuela

* The Venezuelan government has announced that private companies will be allowed to issue securities in foreign currencies, the latest step in the increasing deregulation of the Venezuelan economy. An investigation by local economic analysis firm, Ecoanalítica, has found that over 50% of purchases in the country’s capital, Caracas, were made in foreign currency, mostly US dollars or euros, and that in the cities of San Cristóbal and Maracaibo on the Colombian border, more than 90% of purchases were made in US dollars or Colombian pesos. Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, has acknowledged the growing role of foreign currencies as an “escape valve” for the Venezuelan economy, still struggling with strict international sanctions and rampant inflation, but he has been reluctant to formally roll back currency controls in the country.