The peso touched 1,796.10 per U.S. dollar today, the strongest level in an intraday basis since Feb. 25. It was little changed at 1,797.45 at 9:09 a.m. in Bogota.
“The peso is going to trend higher as we see companies bring in dollars to pay for taxes,” said Camilo Perez, head analyst at Banco de Bogota SA (BOGOTA), the nation’s second-biggest bank. The inflows will lead the peso to appreciate to as high as 1,760 by the end of April, he said.
President Juan Manuel Santos said in a speech yesterday that Colombia “hasn’t dropped its guard” on the peso’s appreciation, which curbs exporters’ profit margins. The Colombian currency has declined 1.7 percent this year as policy makers announced increased dollar purchases in the foreign- exchange market after the peso touched a 17-month intraday high on Jan. 2.
The central bank said Jan. 28 it will buy at least $30 million a day, bringing purchases in the foreign-exchange market to $3 billion between February and May. Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas has also said that Colombia will buy $1 billion of U.S. currency to pay for interest and principal on foreign bonds coming due this year, in addition to the $1 billion it will purchase for its oil-stability fund.
Yields on Colombia’s benchmark peso bonds due 2024 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.91 percent, according to the central bank.