Small Exchange: India under pressure, Venezuelan currency houses and tourism

Peter Terlato 23 January 2017 NEWS

international money currency notes

The week's currency news rounded up.

Rupee may hit new lows against US dollar

Standard Chartered Bank head of foreign exchange MS Gopikrishnan says all emerging market currencies, including the rupee, will feel the heat as US president Donald Trump unveils his fiscal policies.

The Economic Times reports US President Donald Trump's protectionist rhetoric could push the value of the Indian rupee down a further 3% against the US dollar, below the already low 70 INR to US$1 dollar.

"Expect the dollar to strengthen over next three to six months," Gopikrishnan said.

"Rate hikes could come faster if he resorts to fiscal stimulus path for growth. All emerging market (EM) currencies including the rupee will come under pressure."

Venezuela will open currency houses along Colombian border

In an effort to regulate economic development, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has established eight currency exchange houses in different locations along the nation's border with Colombia.

The exchange centres are aimed at undermining black market traders and realising the true value of the currency by making bolivars available at the floating DICOM rate, according to Venezuelanalysis.

Venezuela's currency is regularly smuggled into Colombia, traded for US dollars at a higher rate in Bogotá and then exchanged for bolivars across the border, only to be returned to Colombia.

Last month Venezuela began circulating higher-denomination bank notes as a way to cope with the South American nation's triple-digit inflation and black market currency collapse.

Tourism boosts Indonesia's foreign exchange revenues

Forex revenues generated by Indonesia's primary exports (oil & gas, coal, crude palm oil, rubber and clothes) have been on a downward spiral for the last five years, Indonesia-Investments reports.

However, tourism has enjoyed regular annual increases in foreign exchange earnings since 2011.

The increase in forex revenues within Indonesia's tourism industry match rising visitor arrivals figures, with the number of foreign tourists to Indonesia nearly doubling over the last seven years.

Foreign exchange earnings ranking Indonesia ($US billions)
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Oil & gas 41.5 37 32.6 30.3 18.6
Coal 27.2 26.2 24.5 20.8 15.9
Crude palm oil 17.3 18.8 15.8 17.5 15.4
Processed rubber 14.3 10.4 9.3 n.a. n.a.
Tourism 8.6 9.1 10.1 11.2 12.2

Each week Small Exchange sums up currency news from around the globe and looks at how it impacts exchange rates and options.

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