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ECONOMY | 26-12-2019 21:50

BA stock exchange soars as economic measures kick in

The Buenos Aires stock exchange rose by almost six percent on Thursday as a package of economic reforms came into effect in Argentina.

The Buenos Aires stock exchange rose by almost six percent on Thursday as a package of economic reforms came into effect in Argentina.

Some 118 companies saw their share price rise, with just 17 dropping as more than 1.5 billion pesos (US$25 million) were traded.

The new government of President Alberto Fernández on Monday approved emergency economic measures aimed at boosting growth and sparking an economy in recession.

The new law gives the Executive special powers for one year in matters relating to the economy, finance, tax, administration, pensions, tariffs, energy, health and social issues.

Argentina is suffering its worst economic crisis since 2001, sparked by a currency collapse 18 months ago. Poverty levels have risen to more than 40 percent in the country of 44 million.

Argentina owes US$335 billion, just over 90 percent of its gross domestic product. Its economy is expected to shrink by 3.1 percent in 2019, inflation is hovering around 55 percent and unemployment is rising to 10.5 percent. The peso has lost 38 percent this year, having already lost around 50 percent in 2018.

Fernández's plan involves tax hikes on foreign currency purchases, agricultural exports and car sales.

– TIMES/AFP

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