Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Banguat Sells Dollars to Stabilize the Quetzal

The Bank of Guatemala made it's first move in the currency market this year by selling U.S. $19 million, seeking to prevent further depreciation of the quetzal.

Julio Suarez, vice president of Banguat commented that the central bank made it's own decision on this action and none of the automatic intervention mechanisms were activated. Suarez explained that the intention is to temper expectations.

This is the first occasion on which Banguat used its discretionary power to intervene in the exchange rate, a measure adopted last February 25th.

Yesterday, banks sold dollars to the system above Q8.20, while the reference benchmark was Q8.07.

Jorge Briz, president of the Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala, an entity that has questioned Banguat's previous reluctance to intervene, said that "it might be too late for the central bank to stabilize the exchange rate."

Tulio García, of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters of Guatemala, said that Banguat must be careful in the statements and not set a precedent for intervention and not say it will do something and then not follow through.

Banguat buys or sells dollars to prevent abrupt changes in the exchange rate but the world crisis has caused fluctuations in the currencies of various countries.

Projects To Purify Drinking Water In Guatemala, South Africa Aim To Improve Health Of Residents

The device looks deceptively simple - a porous clay pot placed in a five-gallon plastic bucket with a spigot - but Vinka Craver believes it can save millions of lives each year.

The assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Rhode Island says that when water is poured into the ceramic pot and it passes through to the bucket, the water is purified and becomes safe to drink.

Read the rest of the story on Medical News Today

Colom Appoints New Ministers

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom appointed on Monday Mario Aldana as new Agriculture Minister and Ruben Morales as Economy Minister.

Colom made these appointments after accepting the resignations from former ministers Julio Recinos and Romulo Caballeros, according to information reaching here from Guatemala City.

Read the rest of the story on Xinhua.