Now, collapsed web: the run to the Argentine dollar moves to the Internet
The previous one foreshadowed a controlled chaos scenario. The possibility of a good performance of the opposition force Frente de Todos was reflected by practically all the surveys. However, they agreed that the advantage over the ruling party was short.
Everything changed after 18 hours. Witness tables and urn mouths slid figures that were not in anyone's papers.
The uncertainty lasted until after 22 hours, when the first official results came to light, showing an advantage of more than 15 points between Alberto Fernández and Mauricio Macri. Immediately, the markets went into action.
The first reaction was recorded on platforms that sell dollars 24 hours a day. The price soared to $ 50 in the pre-opening of the banks, at 10 in the morning. From there, the "exchange raid" recorded one of the most turbulent days that the city of Buenos Aires remembers.
The US currency had a furious start and came to be sold in some entities for $ 66. The passenger relief came from the Central Bank, which sold $ 105 million to put a ceiling on the price.
It was the first intervention since September 24 of last year, in full exchange rate that led to the US currency up to $ 40.
Thus, the value of the dollar fell to an average of $ 57.30, well above the $ 46 in which it closed on Friday, on the last day of operations in the banks before PASO.
The confusion was such that online platforms had to interrupt their operation until they had a clear picture of the situation.
Sudden changes in prices, "hangs" on online platforms for buying and selling and tons of uncertainty: it was a "perfect storm" that led the market ahead and threatens not to reduce its strength in the coming days
The steepest price jump since December 17, 2015, when the price soared 36%, closed a black Monday that threw even more uncertainty over the local economy ahead of the October elections.
Dollar in the seesaw
Since early April, the acquisition by small savers has been showing a frenetic journey in banks and exchange houses, product of political and economic instability.
From the City agree that this is a defensive reaction taken by those who were passive witnesses of the last jumps of the greenback. The primary elections, in that sense, exacerbated that behavior.
In this context, a chain reaction occurs that further motorizes the price of the currency. And, contrary to the law of supply and demand, the rebound in the price induces more people to treasure green bills.
This is explained by the director of one of the leading banks in the Argentine market: "People already burned last year. The majority lost with the devaluation. No one thought it would rise 100%. And, now, it hardly moves, those who can they buy".
In this framework of strong dollarization, the electronic channel gains prominence, in accordance with the advances implemented in online platforms so that the purchase operations are carried out in a matter of seconds, from the PC or the cell phone.
This, of course, increases the "herd effect." Unlike other times when many Argentines were seen as a postcard looking at the bank's board, now the decisions are taken at a distance and at a speed similar to the one it takes for the US bill to "paste the stretch."
The banking sources consulted by iProUP agree on a key fact: mobile and home banking operations already concentrate between 80% and 90% of transactions in foreign currency.
The exchange rate on Monday was such that almost all web platforms of public and private banks suffered falls, in many cases prolonged. The collapse in the price, which varied from minute to minute, also added to the confusion.
"Today we operate from 10 to 15 hours because it was very changing and at many times there was no reference price. In fact, the quotes were very different," they assure iProUP from TiendaDolar, an online platform that allows foreign currency to be purchased 24 hours a day.
The consultations and operations began as soon as the first official results were revealed. "We had a lot of movements in those early hours," reveal those responsible.
Even, the company had to suspend its operations "24/7": "When there is absolute lack of control, since there is no price, it is best to operate on a regular schedule. Outside market hours, the value may vary so much as before selling to any price we prefer to close and prepare the next day. "
Regarding the behavior of users, they reveal an even income from buyers and sellers, while the volume of those selling dollars increased when the currency reached its peak.
"The lack of control complicates us and makes the user doubt, because he does not know if he sells well or not," they confess from TiendaDólar.
From the banks, however, at the moment there is "radio silence". Publicly, they make no reference to the chaos experienced on Monday, however, off the record, they recognize that it was "the worst day of the year" for home banking.
The situation was quickly reflected in the networks. Hundreds of users published the screens of their banks with the captions "Error", "Service momentarily out of service". It was not an isolated phenomenon, but a massive reaction.
"It was not only about buying and selling dollars; there was a lot of income to accounts to check balances, make last-minute payments. The volume of visits was triggered by the fear that the cimbronazo was greater," a manager of the area of system of an important city bank.
Strictly speaking, everything seems to indicate that the estimated capacity limits were exceeded by Monday's atypical demand. From the bank they reveal that they are not prepared for that level of visits.
Thus, buying / selling dollars through the PC or cell phone becomes an impossible task.
It was an atypical day in these web services. From TiendaDólar ensure that the queries were multiplied by 5; two banks, for their part, trust iProUP that the figure amounted to 8 or 10 times the volume of a normal day.
The "Monday of Fury" also felt strong in the stock market. On Wall Street, the shares of Argentine companies plummeted by up to 60%, thus registering the worst day of registration for local papers in New York City.
The worst results were for the banks. Shares (ADRs) of Grupo Financiero Galicia, fell more than 57.5%, and those of the Supervielle Group were below 59%.
The energy companies were other of those most affected by the elections effect. Pampa Energía registered a 43% decrease in its shares, while the roles of Edenor and YPF showed falls of 61% and 36.72%, respectively.
Not even Mercado Libre, the most valuable firm in the country, was oblivious to this phenomenon. On Monday morning, the company of Marcos Galperín registered a 12% decrease.
The reference panel of local actions of the Merval, meanwhile, fell to 11% at noon. When adding the jump of the dollar, the real value approached a fall of 33% with respect to Friday.
Web-based services, thanks to its immediacy, were the protagonists of the conference. The volume of visits multiplied, but the general psychosis was not alien to them.
Nicolás Galarza, CEO of the online investment platform Quiena, supports iProUP that it was "an extremely stressful day for the environment. A lot of anguish and uncertainty were felt."
In this regard, the executive clarifies that although the platform did not register any problem in its operation, if they noticed clear inconveniences in those users who handle Argentine investments.
"There was panic and many decided to sell in the fall, regardless of whether that is correct or not. There was also a lack of liquidity and some shares in New York stopped quoting, which paused the operation. Thus, customer inquiries skyrocketed. asking why they couldn't sell, but it was nothing serious, "says Galarza.
Looking ahead to the next few days and the panorama presented to investors, from InvertirOnline, they point out to iProUP: "We need to await the package of measures that the economic cabinet would announce in order to have a clearer picture and evaluate potential risks. local and international volatility will continue. "
"It was a day where the 1 and 7 day bond rates were above 400% tna and 300% tna at the time of the wheel," they stand out to give a magnitude of the disruption that was experienced in the financial plane.
For Galarza, the collapse of the actions revealed "the risk of an emerging country." However, it emphasizes that the investment thesis of the company, which bets on diversified portfolios, allowed minimizing the risks.
"Some accounts that had a portion of the portfolio with Argentine investments fell from 2% to 6%, a lower number of shares, which was more than 60%," reveals the specialist.
In that sense, it indicates that this occurs because "well-balanced portfolios allow investments in several countries, including Argentina, without worrying about politicians or the economy."
"When there is a crisis or a moment of panic like today, the rest of the portfolio, with commodities, real estate, gold or bonds, makes the decline much lighter," he emphasizes.
For both the dollar and the actions, the momentary peace came with the closing of operations. In a country where the short term is king and the immediacy prevails, having the bank or the broker "in your pocket", became a weight ally to beat the panic of the markets.
The problem was that, on the day of Monday, August 12, few seemed prepared for such a roller coaster of emotions. Even, everything indicates that the gale of the steps only showed its first blows.