UPDATE 1-New Argentina government aims to dismantle currency controls Dec 14

domingo 6 de diciembre de 2015 17:27 GYT

(Adds additional quote from Prat-Gay, context on currency controls)

BUENOS AIRES Dec 6 (Reuters) - The government of Argentina's president-elect Mauricio Macri said Sunday that it will seek to dismantle a series of capital controls propping up the peso as soon as possible, aiming for December 14 if the central bank is under new management.

Macri has previously demured on giving details on his strategy to lift outgoing president Cristina Fernandez' so-called "clamp-down" on dollar purchases that has created a multi-tiered exchange rate, saying he must first take a close look at the true state of national accounts.

But incoming finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said in an interview with three local dailies that doing so was a top priority to tackle soon after the transfer of power Dec. 10, despite the possibility of a sharp devaluation.

"The program to unify the currency market is the first signal for the economy to start to normalize. We're going to fulfill that promise as fast and as exhaustively as possible," Prat-Gay was quoted saying in newspapers La Nacion, Perfil and Clarin.

"If we can do it the 14th, we'll do it the 14th, and if not, we'll do it once we see the right conditions," he said.

Prat-Gay said currency reform could probably only begin once a new central bank chief assumes power and it is clear there will be a sufficient supply of dollars. He added that he hopes to make an announcement soon on a new source of hard currency that will help the bank restore its dwindling reserves.

Current capital controls include strict limits on dollar savings, restrictions on imports and a hefty tax on credit card use abroad.

Prat-Gay did not specify whether the government would seek to undo the controls all at once or bit-by-bit. He could not be reached for comment Sunday.   Continuación...