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Argentine central bank opens forex transactions to street vendors

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Argentine central bank opens forex transactions to street vendors

Banco Central de la República Argentina said Nov. 23 that it will authorize street vendors to perform foreign exchange transactions, provided those vendors are linked to establishments regulated by the central bank.

Under central bank rules, the vendors, known locally as "arbolitos," should wear identification cards or uniforms signifying their association with registered foreign exchange companies.

The regulator said the measure will increase the number of foreign exchange operators in Argentina, noting that the country has far fewer exchange companies than its Latin American neighbors.

The central bank also said it has streamlined its registration process for foreign exchange houses by introducing online registration capabilities.

The Argentine regulator noted that it has already authorized 16 new foreign exchange houses for operation and has received requests from another 22 new entities.

The regulatory move comes as Argentina has continued to open up its currency markets since the 2015 election of President Mauricio Macri, including lifting its currency controls.