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Venezuela unveils plan for free-market forex

Recession-hit Venezuela unveiled details Thursday on its plan to partially liberalise its exchange rate by allowing banks and brokerage houses to sell dollars, saying individuals could buy up to $10,000 a year. The regulations that will govern the overhauled three-tier exchange rate system were published in the official government gazette, after Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres announced on Tuesday that Venezuela would ease strict currency controls first put in place by late socialist president Hugo Chavez in 2003.

Under the new rules, Venezuelans can buy up to $300 a day, up to a maximum $2,000 a month and $10,000 a year, through banks and foreign exchange houses, at a rate that will be set by the free market. The new system, known as the "Marginal Currency System" (SIMADI), takes effect immediately, though it is unclear how long it will take for transactions to actually start.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015