BOGOTA Aug 14 Colombia's government is buying more than $300 million on the foreign exchange market this week as part of an effort to stem gains in the country's currency against the U.S. dollar.
Investment in the Andean country's oil and mining industries has reached record levels in the past several years, bolstering the value of the peso, which has been one of the biggest gaining currencies among 152 tracked by Reuters.
"We're buying, on the government side, more than $300 million this week. The government is going to be utilizing mechanisms to affect dollar demand, the central bank too, and that is a dialogue we have with the central bank," Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry told journalists on Tuesday after a meeting with lawmakers.
Echeverry did not say how many dollars the government had purchased so far this week.
The government has called on the monetary authority to step up dollar purchases to $40 million a day to stem gains in the peso currency, which has firmed around 7.5 percent so far this year.
The bank currently buys at least $20 million a day on the spot market.
According to a report by the finance ministry, the bank could boost reserves to as much $53.5 billion, from $34.3 billion now, and intervene more heavily in the currency market.