UPDATE 2-Argentina dismisses General Motors' claim of dollar shortages

viernes 12 de septiembre de 2014 18:11 GYT

(Adds comment from GM spokesman)

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Car makers in Argentina have sufficient dollars to meet production and sales targets, the government said Friday, a day after General Motors Co announced it had suspended exports from Brazil to its Argentine unit due to a hard currency shortage.

Brazilian newspaper Valor on Thursday cited the U.S. automaker's president for South America, Jaime Ardila, as saying trade flows would normalise once Argentina resolved its sovereign debt crisis.

Argentina has tightened controls on imports since it defaulted on its debt in July and is restricting the amount of dollars available to importers in an attempt to protect its already thin foreign reserves.

A government source acknowledged on Friday that in July and August "there may have been a lack (of dollars)" due to Argentina's debt crisis.

The source added however that following a meeting between government officials and car makers on Friday, Buenos Aires had committed to guaranteeing automakers $100 million a month for the import of car parts.

"The flow of hard currency is guaranteed," Argentina's chief of cabinet, Jorge Capitanich, told reporters.

The move by General Motors highlights how Argentina's capital controls are hampering big business as Latin America's No. 3 economy sinks deeper into recession.

A spokesman for the Brazilian unit of General Motors said Ardila's comments were "related to the need to prioritize the importation of components for production over importation of vehicles, at a time when Argentina faces a restriction of dollar availability in the very short term."   Continuación...