The currency strengthened 1.2 percent to 2,412.20 per
dollar at 4:51 p.m. New York time, from 2,440.20 yesterday. The
currency climbed 3 percent this week, paring its decline this
year to 6.8 percent.
Mexico said April 1 it will seek a $47 billion credit line
from the IMF to help shore up its foreign reserves after the
Washington-based lender relaxed loan conditions.
“When Mexico tapped the credit line, it erased the stigma
of going to the IMF, opening the door for other countries in the
region to follow in its footsteps,” said David Duarte, a Latin
America analyst at 4cast in New York. “Colombia seems to be the
next best candidate to use the credit line as a means to
temporarily finance its fiscal deficit.”
Colombian Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga said March 25
his country didn’t need to access the IMF. Colombia would
consider tapping the lender if the global economic crisis
worsened, he said.
Colombia said last month its budget shortfall this year may
equal 2.3 percent of gross domestic product. The country had
$23.8 billion in foreign-exchange reserves as of March 20.
“Similar concerns regarding Colombia’s foreign exchange
reserve base as there was for Mexico, suggests the country is a
natural candidate for activating the IMF’s flexible credit
line,” RBS Securities Inc. strategists Flavia Cattan-Naslausky,
Benito Berber and Siobhan Morden wrote in a note today.
Colombia may be eligible for an IMF credit line of $11.6
billion, according to the RBS analysts. (Bloomberg)