Venezuelan Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said that the government is "cautiously" studying a devaluation of the country's bolivar, which has been pegged at the same rate for more than four years. "The issue of when a devaluation may be needed is being studied cautiously," Rodriguez said in a speech at an event in Caracas. Any devaluation would have inflationary and social effects, he said. Venezuela, the largest oil producer in Latin America, has kept the official exchange rate at 2.15 bolivars per dollar since 2005 even as annual inflation averaged 22 percent. The government controls the sale of dollars at the official exchange rate after President Hugo Chavez imposed currency controls in 2003, and Venezuelans who can't get authorization turn to the parallel unregulated currency market, where the bolivar traded Nov. 11 at 5.38 per dollar, traders said. (Bloomberg)

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