LIMA, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Peru’s central bank unveiled tighter rules for currency derivatives and created new reserve requirements for deposits in foreign currencies on Wednesday, part of a bid to curb lending in dollars and slow the greenback’s gains against the sol.
The central bank also continued loosening reserve rules for accounts denominated in soles as it has over the past year, lowering the minimum to 9 percent from 9.5 percent.
The measures, detailed on the central bank’s website, build on efforts to “dedollarize” credit and rein in volatility in the local spot currency market. Together, they will inject about 9.5 billion soles into the economy over time, the bank said.
The central bank has said that the policies would also allow it to take a more expansionary monetary stance by easing pressure on the sol , which weakened 6.4 percent in 2014.
Central Bank President Julio Velarde has said that speculation is largely driving the sol’s losses.
To curb currency derivatives, the central bank said it will raise reserve requirements when swaps and forwards exceed $100 million or 10 percent of assets on a given day and 30 percent of assets over a five-day period. The reserve requirement will be raised according to how much the new limits are surpassed. The policy goes into effect Jan. 12.
Separately, the central bank will apply a new reserve requirement for deposits in dollars if credit in foreign currencies does not fall 5 percent by June or 10 percent by December of next year from September of 2013.
Tighter reserve rules for dollar-denominated accounts will also be applied if lending for home and car buying does not fall.
About 40 percent of debt in Peru is now held in dollars, down from 70 percent a decade ago, according to the central bank. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler)