Brazilian Real Little Changed After Government Limits Loan Tax

Brazil’s real was little changed after the government cut the maturity of foreign loans that are subject to a tax.

The real gained less than 0.1 percent to 2.2796 per U.S. dollar as of 6:23 p.m. in Sao Paulo. The currency had declined as much as 0.5 percent after comments from Finance Minister Guido Mantega added to speculation that policy makers will refrain from providing sustained support for the currency.

Mantega told reporters today that the effect of lowering the maturity on foreign loans and bonds subject to a 6 percent tax is “almost nonexistent.” The real had climbed on speculation the change would spur inflows.

“Considering what Mantega said, the measure should not have a significant impact on the currency,” Reginaldo Galhardo, foreign-exchange manager at Treviso Corretora de Cambio, said by phone. “This is not enough to attract more dollars to the country and boost the real.”

A program of foreign-exchange swaps announced in August to support the real and limit import price increases has helped push the currency up 3.6 percent this year after tumbling 13 percent in 2013. Brazil sold swaps worth $198.8 million today under the program due to expire this month and rolled over contracts worth $495.1 million.

Swap rates on contracts maturing in January 2017 declined two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 11.78 percent.

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