30 de diciembre de 2014 / 23:29 / en 3 años

Venezuela says to reform forex system, details in New Year

CARACAS, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Long-expected reforms to Venezuela’s three-tier currency control system will be announced in the New Year, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday.

“The details will be extensively explained after the New Year’s greeting ... to optimize and perfect the exchange system,” Maduro told reporters, saying Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco and Central Bank head Nelson Merentes would give details.

OPEC member Venezuela operates three official exchange rates - 6.3 bolivars per dollar for priority goods, and 12 and 50 to the greenback via two other central bank systems known as Sicad I and Sicad II.

But dollars fetch more than 170 bolivars on an illegal black market, creating major distortions in the economy and pressure to change the official rates.

Markets have been speculating that Maduro may eliminate the 6.3 rate in early 2015. Some economists say a “stealth devaluation” is already underway by making more dollars available at the higher rates and less at 6.3.

“We are going to perfect the attention to the different markets,” Maduro said, without giving more details. (Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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