Argentine Peso

Name of Currency:  Argentine Peso

Country / countries used:  Argentina

Symbol:  $

Brief history:

There have been several previous currencies in Argentina that were also called “peso”.  To match rates of inflation in the past, a currency with a new name was introduced with a few zeroes dropped.  With this practice having happened multiple times, since 1969 thirteen zeroes have been dropped.

The current Argentine Peso – the ‘Peso Convertible’ – replaced the previous ‘peso austral’ in 1992 at a rate of 1 peso = 10,000 australes.  The current peso was given the name ‘convertible’ due to the fixing of international exchange rates by the Central Bank, meaning that 1 peso was worth 1 US dollar.  Following the 2001 financial crisis, this fixed exchange rate system was abandoned.  Following this abandonment of the exchange rate system the Peso has suffered.  The peak of this was 75% devaluation – four pesos were the equivalent of one dollar.

There are problems in Argentina with regards to change.  Lower denomination coins are nigh on impossible to come by in the country, meaning that shop owners are unable to sell an item if the transaction will require an exchange of change.  ATM machines in the country give out 100 peso notes, meaning that these are difficult to use due to the lack of change in the country.   Due to these problems, special systems have been implemented where change would have previously been required, that allow the customer to pay quickly and efficiently on card.  For example bus lines in Argentina are installed with a ‘SUBE’, an acronym for ‘Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico’, a quick and efficient smartcard reading system.  There are even stories of bus companies taking any change that they do receive and selling it on the black market for an extra price, as opposed to depositing them at banks.

Each peso is divided into 100 centavos.  Centavos coins are available in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50.  There are also one and two peso coins available.  Banknotes are available in the country and any printed after 2002 lack the text “convertibles de curso legal”, meaning that the value of the note was fixed to the US dollar.  Bank notes are available in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos forms.

For more information on currencies of the world and foreign currency exchange, refer to Best Exchange Rates UK. In addition to information on different currencies, Best Exchange Rates UK has information on market data, private currency exchange and business currency exchange.