CARACAS: Venezuela will allow the opening of foreign currency bank accounts, the South American country’s central bank said.
The move, announced Friday in the Official Gazette, applies to both individuals and companies.
“It simplifies the system,” Central Bank director Armando Leon told the newspaper El Universal.
The measure is also aimed at foreign firms involved in public projects.
Venezuela has had strict foreign exchange controls since 2003 and regulates access to US dollars.
“You could say it’s positive but it does not change the concrete reality,” analyst Luis Vincente Leon, president of Datanalisis, told AFP.
Funds may be withdrawn in bolivars, the local currency, at the official rate, according to the central bank.
The announcement comes just months before Venezuelans head to the polls for October presidential elections pitting firebrand leftist leader Hugo Chavez against centrist businessman and governor Henrique Capriles.