May 19th, 2023


1. New package of measures from the Ministry of Economy

After the release of the Consumer Price Index for the month of April 2023 (8.4% month-on-month), Economy Minister Sergio Massa defined a package of measures to tamp down inflation and maintain consumption levels. The interest rate of fixed-term deposits was raised to 97% and the interest rate of Ahora 12 plans for national products was reduced by 9%. The Central Market was authorized to import foodstuffs without intermediation costs. The Ministry also undertook to shorten the approval period for the importation of capital goods through the Import System of the Argentine Republic (SIRA) to 360 days. The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) will also be able to intervene in the market to control the prices of financial dollars (cash with liquidation and Electronic Means of Payment, or MEP). Additionally, the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) will establish a payment plan for small and medium-sized companies of up to 84 installments. Finally, regarding controls, a Trade Analysis Unit will be created to monitor the traceability of goods traded in the local market and taxation at each stage.

IProfesional: Nuevas medidas de Massa contra la inflación: cambios en plazos fijos, tarjetas y dólar

2. Cristina Fernández announced she will not be running for president

On Tuesday, May 16, Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández announced through her social media accounts that she will not be running for president again in the next national election. As a consequence, Argentine stocks traded mostly higher on Wednesday. The main companies were Despegar (+10.1%), Central Puerto (+4.5%), and Grupo Financiero Galicia (+4.3%). On the other hand, the country risk measured by J.P. Morgan fell 0.8% to 2,554 basis points. American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) closed with increases of up to 10%. The vice president’s decision also had an effect on the ruling party’s bloc. Party and union sectors confirmed that an event will be held May 25 to support Fernández’s leadership as head of the pro-government bloc in the elections.

Página 12: Cristina Kirchner anunció que no será candidata: el día después, las repercusiones y el impacto político de la decisión

3. Electoral results in Salta, La Pampa and Tierra del Fuego

Last Sunday, provincial and municipal elections were held in the provinces of Salta, La Pampa and Tierra del Fuego, with the ruling coalition, Frente de Todos, triumphing in three reelections. In Salta, Gustavo Sáenz (member of Alianza Gustavo Gobernador), who has a close relationship with the country’s current Economic Minister Sergio Massa, was reelected with 47.52% of the votes. In La Pampa, a province where the ruling party has governed since 1983, Sergio Ziliotto (member of Frente Justicialista Pampeano) was reelected with 48.57%. Finally, in Tierra del Fuego, Gustavo Melella (member of the Concentración FORJA party, the radical wing of the Frente de Todos) was reelected with 52.92%. In the cases of Salta and Tierra del Fuego, the lead over the opposition party, Juntos por el Cambio, exceeded 30 points, while in La Pampa there was a gap of about 5 points.

El Cronista: Reeligieron Melella en Tierra del Fuego, Sáenz en Salta y Ziliotto en La Pampa

4. National Government presented a bill on money laundering

On Wednesday, the National Government submitted to the Congress a bill on money laundering, called “Voluntary Declaration of Unexternalized Argentine Savings.” The proposed legislation covers individuals, undivided estates and companies (subjects included in Article 53 of the Income Tax Law). According to sources with the Ministry of Economy, the assets included in the initiative will consist of holdings of national and/or foreign currency in the country and/or abroad, financial assets, real estate, personal property, and other assets in the country and/or abroad, including credits. The bill would allow the declared assets to not be considered as unjustified capital increases, thus freeing the parties involved from any civil, commercial, criminal tax, criminal exchange, criminal customs or administrative offenses that may be associated with the declared assets. Among other measures, the initiative proposes the application of three tax rates for the externalization of assets in the country and abroad when there is repatriation applicable to the amount externalized at the exchange rate set by the Banco de la Nación Argentina.

Ámbito Financiero: Envían nueva ley de blanqueo de capitales al Congreso

5. Ministry of Economy and ENACOM announced WiFi 6 in Argentina

Economy Minister Sergio Massa and the president of the National Communications Entity (ENACOM), Claudio Ambrosini, on Tuesday announced the allocation of the spectrum band for the use and development of WiFi 6 technology. The allocation of spectrum in the range of 5923-7125 MHz (6GHz band) will make this technology freely available to service providers, which can provide WiFi connectivity alongside existing fixed-line services and thus maximize the use of the spectrum. The decision is considered positive as it is expected to boost the knowledge economy, SMEs and the digital sectors. On the other hand, mobile operators represented in the GSM Association (Telefónica, Telecom and Claro) and mobile industry infrastructure providers (Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia) published a statement opposing the decision, commenting: “5G represents a technological leap that will drive the transformation of industrial development, but the realization of its potential depends on the availability of spectrum. A study by consultancy Coleago revealed that 5G networks will need 2 gigahertz of mid-band spectrum per market over the next decade to realize their full capabilities.”

El Día: ¿Qué es el Wifi 6? La nueva tecnología anunciada por Sergio Massa
Urgente 24: WiFi 6 y 5G detonaron la crisis entre Clarín y Sergio Massa
GSMA: Industria móvil: La decisión sobre 6 GHz puede jugar un rol central en el futuro de la economía argentina
Enacom: Llega WIFI 6 a la Argentina: una tecnología que garantizará hogares más y mejor conectados