March 10th, 2023


1. Peso debt exchange

Last Monday, March 6th, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, and his team met with the main private banks in Argentina and announced the call for a debt swap in pesos. The adhesion of the banks to this swap is voluntary, and they will have time to do so until Monday, March 13th. Participants agreed to grant the exchange for two bond baskets: one that includes exclusively inflation-adjusted securities (CER) and another one with a combination of 70% CER-adjusted and 30% dual bonds (whichever increases more between inflation or the official dollar until expiration), with expiration dates in 2024 and 2025. This will reduce the weight of debt instruments tied to the official dollar (“dollar-linked”). 

Cronista: Canje de deuda en pesos: Sergio Massa anunció con bancos que posterga vencimientos hasta 2025

2. “Malbec dollar”, new preferential exchange rate for the wine industry

Starting April 1st, a new preferential exchange rate aimed at the wine industry will come into effect: the “Malbec dollar” or “wine dollar”. The measure was announced last Sunday by Sergio Massa, Minister of Economy, and is aimed at improving the competitiveness of exports and helping producers affected by adverse weather. According to Massa’s comments during a breakfast of the Corporación Vitivinícola Argentina (Coviar), which took place during the National Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, despite its name, this preferential dollar value will not only be implemented in the wine industry, but also in “all regional economies”. It is not yet known what the exact exchange rate will be, but the Secretariat of Agriculture indicated to media that they will work with he sector in the next 20 days on the details,. The Secretariat also informed that there will be a package of measures “aimed at restoring the sector’s competitiveness”. Among the incentives that would accompany the “Malbec Dollar” are credits for harvesting and hauling, assistance to municipalities for the prevention of emergencies, financial support from the IDB, investment in productive infrastructure for irrigation, and strengthening of the National Program for the Prevention and Eradication of Lobesia Botrana, the grapevine moth.

La Nación: Dólar Malbec: cómo es el tipo de cambio preferencial para el vino

3. Cristina Kirchner’s conviction: the court released the grounds for the verdict

On Thursday, March 6th, the Federal Oral Court No. 2 (TOF) released the grounds for the conviction of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the trial for the so-called “Vialidad case”. It is a 1,616-page document detailing the arguments of judges Jorge Gorini, Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Andrés Basso for their ruling. It should be noted that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s sentence is not final: the VicePresident has10 working days starting March 9th to file an appeal at the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation. In Cassation, the verdict will be analyzed by Judges Mariano Borinsky, Gustavo Hornos and Javier Carbajo, since they have already intervened in other instances of the Vialidad case. The three judges in charge of the case will call the parties to a preliminary hearing, where they will hear arguments in the following months and then will have 20 working days to rule. If they do not rule favorably, the current Vice President of the Nation will have the possibility of appealing to the Supreme Court of Justice to file an extraordinary appeal, which, if rejected, will enable the appeal of the direct complaint before the highest court, which, has no deadlines to rule on the matter.

Cronista: Condena a Cristina Kirchner: el tribunal reveló los fundamentos del veredicto

4. The companies adhered to the Fair Pricing program accessed imports for $3.5 billion

According to the first management report of the SIRA import system, released by AFIP, Customs Administration and the Secretariat of Commerce, with the new import system, SIRA, which came into effect in October 2022, imports increased by 11%, but approvals of applications fell by 4%. Between October and February, the first four months in which the program was in force, the companies that are part of the price agreement program “Fair Prices” agreed to import USD 3.5 billion. Of the 21,885 companies that made applications between October and February, 19,048 were authorized, leaving more than 2,800 companies outside the Free and Single Exchange Market (MULC). Of those authorized, 86% are small, 11% medium-sized and 3% large. Large companies (those importing more than USD 10 million) had better approval.

Ámbito: Las empresas de Precios Justos accedieron a importaciones por u$s 3.500 millones

5. The Argentine Business Association issued a press release

The Argentine Business Association (AEA), an entity that gathers the main holders of Argentine companies, held its first meeting of 2023, and through  a press release highlighted the importance of the division of powers and the need to have an independent Justice, as necessary conditions for the development of the country, referring to the conflict between the Executive Power and the Supreme Court of Justice. The Association also remarked that the significant challenges that the country will inevitably face require a “very arduous and rigorous political and technical work that will not admit improvisations”, requesting a more defined economic plan. In addition, the AEA announced the incorporation of five new members: Pierpaolo Barbieri, CEO of the fintech Ualá; Claudia Álvarez Argüelles, president and CEO of Álvarez Argüelles Hoteles, an Argentine hotel chain; Martín Castelli, president of Blue Star Group, which markets women’s accessories; Ignacio Lartirigoyen, co-founder and president of Lartirigoyen & Cía, a company in the agribusiness sector; and Enrique Duhau, president of AE Duhau, an agricultural and livestock company.

Infobae: La Asociación Empresaria Argentina alertó por la alta inflación y llamó a respetar las instituciones