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Uribe Says Colombian Central Bank Would Prefer a Weaker Peso

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Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s central bank would like to see a weaker peso, bank chief Jose Dario Uribe said.

“We would like the exchange rate to be a bit more devalued,” Uribe told lawmakers in Bogota. “Without doubt, its behavior has worried us.”

The peso has gained 9.1 percent this year, the most of 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg, leading to complaints from exporters including coffee and flower growers. The central bank today published a report saying that the benefits of accumulating extra reserves have to be weighed against the cost of foregoing more lucrative investments.

Uribe said that the European debt crisis has affected China, leading to a fall in prices for Colombia’s commodities exports. The slowing world economy was one of the reasons the central bank cited last month in its surprise decision to cut interest rates for the first time since 2010.

Policy makers cut the benchmark interest rate to 5 percent from 5.25 percent, with two board members arguing for a larger, half-point cut.

The national statistics agency publishes the June export figures later today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oscar Medina in Bogota at omedinacruz@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Bristow at mbristow5@bloomberg.net.

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