The latest regulation on foreign exchange intermediation was issued by the Central Bank through Resolution 00-09-01 (Official Gazette 37,035 of September 13 2000).
The main provisions are as follows:
- Intermediation in foreign exchange is restricted to banks, savings entities and exchange houses;
- A daily limit of $2,000 is imposed on financial orders received in Venezuela or to be sent abroad electronically;
- A maximum limit of 0.5% is imposed on commissions to be charged to customers in connection with the purchase or sale of foreign currency; and
- The difference between the purchase and sale price of foreign currency may not exceed Bs1.25.
On September 25 2000 the president submitted a bill to the National Assembly in order to obtain fast-track authority to legislate on certain sectors, including banking and finance.
- obliges all financial institutions to include a mandatory percentage within their respective portfolio, aimed at financing agricultural activities;
- relaxes certain rules in order to foster the creation of so-called 'second-floor' banks, to allow financing to low-income individuals;
- creates a micro-finance system to encourage development in both urban and rural areas;
- introduces rules in order to facilitate the mergers of existing financial institutions and foster competition by allowing cooperative associations to engage in financial intermediation;
- amends the criteria on parent or related companies and includes foreign affiliates within the concept of 'financial group'; and
- aims to transform the Venezuelan Investment Fund into a development bank which, as well as acting as a financial agent, will assume management of the assets of state-owned financial institutions in order to foster investment in low-income areas and encourage the economic development of the country.
For further information on this topic please contact Reinaldo Hellmund at Rodriguez & Mendoza by telephone (+58 212 285 4944) or by fax (58 212 285 1379) or by e-mail ([email protected]).
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