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Argentina Raises Capital Requirements for Banks

Argentina’s central bank said it is raising capital requirements for financial institutions to comply with international standards.

Argentine banks will be required to hold an extra 75 percent of their minimum capital requirements before dividend payments from the current 30 percent, the bank said today in an e-mailed statement. The measure, which will be applied gradually starting Feb. 1 through December, aims to comply with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

“It has the double purpose of giving more security to savers, as well as increasing the system’s resources to expand credit,” the Central Bank said in the statement.

Following her Oct. 23 landslide re-election, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner ordered energy and mining companies to bring export revenue to the country after Argentina faced record capital flight in the third quarter. She also told insurance companies to repatriate investments held abroad, tightened oversight of the foreign exchange market and raised the amount of wheat farmers can sell abroad.

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