JPMorgan Bets on Argentine Stability With Plans to Triple Staff

JPMorgan Chase & Co. wants to make Buenos Aires its regional hub by tripling its staff on expectations of a more stable monetary outlook.

The New York-based bank plans to hire 1,000 people in Argentina’s capital in the next three years, expanding from the current 400 employees, said Facundo Gomez Minujin, the senior country officer. Jobs will be in technology, research, credit analysis and processing of securities and derivatives.

Buenos Aires was picked over other cities in the region because of the availability of well-educated, English-speaking professionals, Gomez Minujin said in an interview at his office in Buenos Aires. JPMorgan added seven floors of office space in two separate buildings downtown and is looking for an extra 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet), he said.

“It’s important to work in a country that has monetary stability,” Minujin said. The decision to expand the office “depends on salary costs, so you can’t have too much volatility in the exchange rate in the long term.”

The announcement comes five months before elections that will determine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s successor after eight years of increased government control of the economy. Economic advisers for the leading candidates have expressed the need to promote investment by eliminating import barriers and dismantling capital controls that have spawned multiple exchange rates.

The peso, which trades at 8.96 per dollar, will weaken to about 9.87 in the next six months, non-deliverable forwards indicate. The currency is worth 11.91 per dollar in an unofficial market used in financial transactions.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, had about 241,000 employees globally as of the end of the first quarter.

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