Through the Financial System Supervisory Authority (ASFI), the government ordered that Multiple Banks, SME Banks, Development Financial Institutions and Housing Financial Institutions capitalize 100% of the net profits they generated during this year to preserve the stability of the financial system. Banks will not be able to distribute their earnings for 2020, and this money will strengthen equity and channel more credit. According to official data from ASFI, the financial system's profits in November 2020 exceeded 1.145 billion bolivianos ($164.27 mn).
Bolivia will close 2020 with exports at 2010 levels due to global prices' fall and the effects of the Covid-19 on the economy. Exports fell by 24% and imports by 29% compared to 2019. A rebound is a forecast for next year.
According to data from the Continuous Employment Survey, the urban unemployment rate as of November reached 8.6%, 0.1% less than in October. The percentage of the Economically Active Population (EAP) without an occupation reached over 11% last July, due to the effects of the economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine.
Net International Reserves (NIR) slowed their decline in December this year and rebounded by 2.5% in the space of 18 days. According to official data, between December 1 and 18, the funds managed by the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) rose from US$5,305 million to US$5,437 million.
In October of this year, the country's average daily production of natural gas reached 48.84 million cubic meters (MMm3). Due to the addenda signed by Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) with the state companies of Sremtina and Brazil, Bolivia sells approximately 16 to 18 MMm3d of natural gas to the Argentine market and about 14 MMm3d to Brazil. If current production volumes are maintained, the flow delivered next year by the Boycobo Sur-X1ST well (initially of one million cubic metres per day) will reach 2% of the total.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, urban unemployment rose from 4.5% to 8.7% at the end of October 2020. The institution considers that the data boosted by a lousy combination of economic policies and the presence of the Covid-19.
Illegal alcohol leaves deep scars on the country's beer and wine industry. A study by Euromonitor International, sponsored by Cervecería Boliviana Nacional (CBN), updated in 2019, concludes that of the 4,347,783 hectolitres (HL) of the total legal market, 15.4% comes from smuggling, which represents $118 million in tax losses.
The government announced the resumption of the coverage extension projects of the National Telecommunications Company (Entel) with the disbursement of more than Bs 125 million ($17.93 mn). The project involves expanding radio base stations for intercommunication in towns and villages throughout the country and will promote virtual education for students by granting them free Internet access. The strategy will also support access to the mobile phone, cable TV and radio services.
While the government announces a fund of Bs 911 million (a little more than $130 million), through two trusts, to provide credit to the national productive apparatus with an annual interest rate of 0.5% and a 15-year term, the Association of Agricultural Input Suppliers (APIA) reveals that the productive sector of Santa Cruz has been dragging on default of up to $240 million since 2016. The amount grew by 10% this year.
BrasilAgro, the Brazilian-based rural real estate firm controlled by Argentina's Cresud - part of the Irsa group - divested itself of 9,900 agricultural hectares in Bolivia's core zone for $30 million (approximately $3,300 per hectare).