Brazil’s new foreign exchange rules leave question marks for analysts

Brazil's new legal framework for the foreign exchange market will soon allow individuals and companies to hold bank accounts in foreign currencies — but experts are split on the real-world effects of the change

foreign exchange
Photo: A. Ricardo/Shutterstock

There is a simple rule among a large part of Brazil’s wealthiest classes that dictates, if you have the opportunity not to do so, avoid keeping your money in domestic bank accounts. The volatility and the relative weakness of the Brazilian Real against the U.S. Dollar, Euro, Pound sterling, or Swiss Franc lead many of the country’s richest individuals to hold savings abroad in foreign money, where they believe it will be less affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

However, restricted to those owning businesses outside of Brazil or with foreign residence permits, holding money in currencies other than BRL is...

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