Costa Rica May Impose More Currency Controls, Chinchilla Says
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Costa Rica’s central bank is “very likely” to impose more currency controls to stem the flow of capital from developed markets that has driven the colon higher, President Laura Chinchilla said.
“It is very likely that the the bank will have to announce some measures on their own in the coming days,” Chinchilla said today in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, where she is attending the World Economic Forum. “I wouldn’t dare anticipate what kind of measures.”
Chinchilla, 53, has called capital inflows from developed markets seeking higher yields “weapons of mass destruction” against the nation’s economy. Her government submitted a bill to Congress this week that would raise taxes to 38 percent from 8 percent on foreign investors who transfer out of the country profits from capital inflows.
The colon has gained 1.4 percent against the dollar this year through yesterday, the most among Latin American currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the Chilean peso. A stronger currency hurts exporters by making their goods more expensive.
The central bank has bought more than $1.5 billion to stabilize the colon in the past 10 months, according to the bill. The bank lets the currency fluctuate within a “crawling band” system that allows for movement between a fixed ceiling and floor.
--Editors: Bill Faries, Richard Jarvie