Brazil Real Gains on Overseas Transaction Tax as Swap Rates Fall

Brazil’s real rose for a third day, paring the currency’s annual loss to 12 percent, after the government moved to limit outflows by raising taxes on traveler checks and cash withdrawals abroad.

The real added 0.3 percent to 2.3321 per dollar at 9:51 a.m. in Sao Paulo, the highest since Dec. 18. Swap rates due January 2016 fell five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 11.65 percent.

The financial transactions tax was raised to 6.38 percent from 0.38 percent for payments made by debit cards abroad, withdrawal of foreign currency and the purchase of traveler checks, the Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement Dec. 27. The increase on the so-called IOF tax will raise revenue by 552 million reais a year, the ministry said.

“The financial transactions tax reduces dollar outflows by diminishing the appetite of Brazilians to buy abroad,” Luciano Rostagno, the chief strategist at Banco Mizuho do Brasil, said in a telephone interview from Sao Paulo.

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