Portfolio Investments by non-residents in Argentina

1. Introduction

This paper summarizes the alternatives and requirements for foreign individuals and companies for making portfolio investments in Argentina.

In order to do general business and operate on a regular basis, foreign companies should establish a branch or incorporate a subsidiary, which exceeds the purpose of the document. 

Argentina - Changes in Foreign Exchange regulations

Following the announcements of the Finance Ministry, on December 16, 2015 the Argentine Central Bank issued Communiqué A 5850, establishing significant changes in the regulations of the Argentine Foreign Exchange Market (the “FX Market”) by relaxing regulatory and de facto restrictions in place until now. The most significant changes are the following:

Foreign Exchange Controls in Argentina

1) General overview

In December 2001 and after over ten years of economic deregulation, the Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina (the “Central Bank”) imposed very tight exchange controls. As from the end of the year 2002, the Central Bank has gradually loosened some restrictions until October 2011, when it started to strengthen the restrictions again as consequence of the global economic crisis and the depletion of its foreign exchange reserves.

Currently, foreign exchange restrictions are not only imposed by the Central Bank but, in practice, also by the Argentine Tax Authority, through tax regulations. Foreign exchange and tax related regulations are very detailed and specific and are being modified very often.

Notwithstanding the regulatory foreign exchange and tax, in addition, since October 2011, foreign exchange transactions have been generally subject to de-facto restrictions, preventing local financial entities or exchange houses from processing operations of their clients that would otherwise be authorized pursuant to regulations.

Under this scenario, please note that the following is a general description and that is limited to the regulations currently in effect.

National Congress approves new rules against money laundering

On December 22, 2011 the National Congress passed Law No. 26,734 (the “Law”), which incorporated to the Criminal Code regulations against terrorist activities.

National Congress passes new law on certain financial activities

On December 22, 2011 the National Congress passed Law No. 26,733 (the “Law”), which, based on a bill proposed by the Argentine President, imposes criminal sanctions for certain unauthorized financial activities.