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Venezuela Lifts Controls on Banks Trading Foreign Currency

  • Central bank held meeting with private banks last week
  • Comes 16 years after former President Chavez ordered controls
A manager places the banknotes received from customers during the day into a cardboard box in Caracas.
Photographer: Manaure Quintero/Bloomberg

In the boldest sign yet that Venezuela is abolishing its complex web of financial controls, local banks will be able to begin trading foreign currency. The move will likely prove to be too little too late as the country grapples with hyperinflation and a historic economic depression.

From today, individuals and companies will be able to buy or sell foreign currency at private and state-run banks with the average of the transactions being published as the official rate by the central bank, according to a resolution dated May 2 and uploaded early Tuesday.