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BOPREAL: series 3 does not raise its head and the BCRA placed only US$89 million

BOPREAL: series 3 does not raise its head and the BCRA placed only US$89 million

Series 3 of BOPREAL He doesn’t raise his head. This Thursday he closed his fourth tender and the Central Bank could barely place US$89 million. The very characteristics of the instrument make it less attractive than the previous series and, in addition, the narrowing of the exchange gap works against it. In the four auctions held so far, the BCRA It barely managed to award US$981 million of the US$3,000 million scheduled for this series.

For the monetary strategy of the economic team, the bonus for importers with commercial debts prior to December 12, called BOPREAL, plays a key role on different fronts: it aims to decompress the situation of liabilities for imports (which also continue to grow through the system of staggered payment implemented by the current administration), to aspire to pesos, to dollarize a portion of the remunerated liabilities and to take pressure off the parallel dollar.

Up to this point, I had managed to meet the objectives set for the first two series. In number 1 he placed US$5,000 million and in number 2, US$2,000 million. For the third, the entity that presides Santiago Bausili set a guideline of US$3,000 million. But, after four tenders, more than two thirds still have to be awarded of that amount.

The monetary authority reported that in this fourth auction “bids were received from 134 companies, which were awarded in their entirety” for an amount of US$89 million. Although none of the three previous tenders had had great demand from importers, this was the lowest.

“In the coming weeks there will be new tenders until the maximum amount of US$3,000 million is completed. Series 3 bonds are authorized for transfer and negotiation in the secondary market, accrue interest at a rate of 3% NA and amortize in three quarterly installments, from November 2025 to May 2026,” the BCRA recalled.

These characteristics are what, according to the market, make this series less attractive than the previous ones, as Ámbito anticipated. The thing is that, on the one hand, it has longer amortization periods than series 2 (which has received foreign exchange flow since the middle of this year) and, on the other, it does not include the tax benefits of the first (which did not pay PAIS tax and can used to cancel obligations with the AFIP).

As a result of these difficulties, before the third tender, the BCRA decided to remove one of the requirements To participate in BOPREAL auctions: be registered in the Register of Commercial Debts for Imports with Foreign Suppliers prepared by the AFIP and the Ministry of Commerce. Thus, those who had liabilities prior to December 12 but who were not registered in that registry were also allowed to participate. This relaxation of conditions remains in force.

However, the measure did not move the ammeter: the third tender barely contributed US$100 million and the fourth, US$89 million. That is, they had even less demand than the previous ones.

According to the operators, another factor that played against BOPREAL’s tenders in recent weeks is the compression of the exchange gap. The fall in financial dollars during February (driven by the supply in the cash market with liquidation generated by the blend dollar for exporters and the lack of demand due to the liquefaction of the economy’s pesos) made it less attractive.

There is a trade off at that point. When the gap grows, the implicit exchange rate that importers access through BOPREAL to pay their suppliers improves with respect to the CCL. On the contrary, when it drops, it becomes more convenient to buy currencies in the financial market than to do so via a BOPREAL subscription.

MSMEs, beyond BOPREAL

On the other hand, the BCRA reported that around 5,900 micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) made import debt payments for a total of US$347.5 million without the need to subscribe to the BOPREAL. They are companies with debts of up to US$500,000 registered in the Register and that weeks ago were enabled to access the official dollar to pay off the entire amount in three installments, without having to buy the bond.

Source: Ambito

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