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Fixed term online, in the spotlight: how many months of earnings erased the rise of the dollar from a single day?

Fixed term online, in the spotlight: how many months of earnings erased the rise of the dollar from a single day?
After the Central allowed entities to offer this instrument to non-clients, there were a large number of placements. But was it business?
17.08.2019 02.05hs Mundo Fintech

The virulent escape from the retail dollar, which climbed up to $ 66 and ended at $ 57.3, left many  people who had taken a deep breath and decided to reach the Simultaneous Open and Primary Primarys in pesos seriously beaten on Monday.

After all, they were positive rates in real terms (that is, they beat inflation, a rarity in Argentina) and the greenback seemed rather domesticated, with a Central Bank that reached these elections without selling a single dollar. of reserves and only playing their "chips" in the futures market.

Nobody expected the 23% jump that left behind the victory by more than 15 points of the formula formed by Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández, who monopolized 47% of the electorate and left almost no chance for the government to dream of a re-election.

But not only the macrismo lamented the result of the elections on Sunday: the advance of the US currency managed to evaporate at a stroke the profits that the savers had reaped in the last six months with their bank term placements.

"Passing the nominal rate of 50% to the effective one, it gives a yield of 4.1% monthly for a renewed fixed term each month and considering the interests that accumulate as time goes by," Amilcar economist explains to iProUP Collante, assuming a 50% annual unchanged rate scenario, a fairly conservative assumption, as many players offered a higher prize.

There are those who, likewise, prefer not to compare this type of investment. One of them is Mariano Sardans, of FDI, who warns iProUP that "bets in pesos must be measured against the cost of living."

"If the dollar had not taken the leap that hit it, it would have made the catch up of inflation. It's like the dog biting its tail. Serious countries have stopped devaluating for a long time because they know that it exacerbates the price index," he completes.

Sardan adds that "the fight has to be against inflation, so the titles that adjust by CER today are the best investment, especially for the small investor who seeks protection for his savings." "In addition, there are currently securities that pay 40% above inflation, which is outrageous," he says.

The Central Bank managed to soften the shot, with its own reserve sale for US $ 105 million, something that had not happened since September 2018, more intervention in futures and a jump of 11 percentage points in the reference rate to a level of 74, 75%

The entity seemed confident in its strategy in the futures market (which does not imply loss of reserves), in which it has a buying position of more than $ 3,000 million.

But the post-PAS volantazo was too lukewarm for many operators who expected it to mark the field more firmly, especially now that the International Monetary Fund gave it permission to intervene even when the currency is within the non-intervention zone.

Set the trap

In Argentina, preventive or defensive dollarization before the elections is already a classic of Argentines. But the Central Bank had been taking several measures to ensure that financial institutions offered a return attractive enough to retain money in banks.

At the end of March, for example, the body chaired by Guido Sandleris authorized them to keep up to the equivalent of 100% of their deposits in Leliq (high-yield bills issued by the BCRA and can only be signed by banks), when a bank previously governed 65% cap.

The objective was to oil what is called the "transmission channel" of the reference rate to passive rates, since there was a considerable gap between what the Leliq performed and what was paid to the saver.

In the same vein, to maintain high and tempting rates, he pointed out the measure that provided a minimum rate for Leliq, today at 58%, in order to guarantee banks a profitability floor.

And finally, on April 30, the online deadlines for non-customers - which allow for a placement in another bank from homebanking if they offer a better rate - have finished convincing many. In effect, 88,500 operations were closed in the first two months, for a total of $ 17,400 million, which represents a 50% growth in the amount placed.

Today, there are already some 23 entities that offer this modality, although according to the Central Bank, among the 10 leading entities for now there are only four, namely:

- Nation: 54%

- Province: 49%

- Credicoop: 50%

- City: 48%

Thus, the entities manage to compete against the 48% offered by Mercado Pago for account balances, in an alliance with the BIND that places the funds in their mutual funds. With the difference that the return is daily and the user can make money at any time.

The unicorn managed to seduce more than 300,000 customers to deposit money in this instrument, who are probably not aware that it has a "client account", a tool like the one used by businessmen in the stock market.

Thus, it would not be incurring "financial intermediation", something that would be illegal, since it does not have a license from the Central Bank to operate that business. Therefore, the e-commerce platform receives the money as if it were an investment in FCI that they constituted with the BIND and not as a "deposit".

These amounts are small compared to other accounts in the system, but Mercado Pago uses them to place loans to another 300,000 buyers with higher rates.

Fintech that do offer "traditional" fixed terms are the three digital banks that are licensed by the Central Bank to operate financial services, namely:

- Wilobank, from businessman Eduardo Eurnekian and former Bapro president Guillermo Francos: offers 51%

- Rebanking, of the Transatlantic Group, which began operating recently: 55%

- Brubank, of former Citi owner Juan Bruchou: the amounts are variable, around 51%

Nothing new under the sun

"It's like the story of the hare and the turtle. The turtle always wins," says Miguel Arrigoni head of First, who adds: "This is not the first time that happens, but what I am sure of today is not buying. You have to wait. This is what is called overshooting. The dollar is in illogical values. "

Something similar had happened in March when the financial bicycle (or carry trade, that is, selling dollars to bet on the rate in pesos) had been working wonders until it stopped.

The dollar climbed 12% only in that month and left losses for those who had played by this mechanism from 7.6% to 15% in dollars. In the case of the fixed term, the red was 2.6% in dollars.

"The one that was making a rate in pesos without coverage passed as a loser in dollars. It was one of the risks," Gabriel Caamaño of the consultancy Ledesma tells iProUP, who explains: "The one who threw himself to do it without covering himself in futures lost the profit, "he explained.

Of course, "hedge" or protect against eventual devaluation is a complex operation and clearly quite far from the classic Argentine "plazofijero".

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