| GEO Business|
| Venezuela announces currency devaluation|
| Updated at: 1441 PST, Saturday, January 09, 2010|
CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced currency devaluation for the first time since2005.
Chavez said Venezuela's currency, the bolivar, will now have two government-set rates depending on the use, either 2.60 to the dollar for transactions deemed priorities by the government or 4.30 to the dollar for other transactions. The devaluation dropped the currency's value by 17 percent or 50percent, depending on the tier.
The currency's official exchange rate has been held steady by the government at 2.15 bolivars to the dollar since 2005. Chavez also said the government will intervene in the lucrative parallel bond market, where the bolivar has recently been fetching about one-third of the official rate. He did not give details about what actions the government would take.