Argentine leader orders insurers how to invest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Argentine leader orders insurers how to invest

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -

Argentina's Merval stock market index has dropped more than 3.5 percent Tuesday amid two new government efforts to control the country's economy.

President Cristina Fernandez says she'll ask Congress to put her government in charge of the currently self-regulated stock and commodities markets. And she has decreed that insurance companies must invest up to 30 percent of their holdings in "productive activities" to improve Argentina's infrastructure.

The insurance industry decree published Tuesday puts Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff and Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno in charge of deciding where insurers can invest.

Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino says Argentina's insurers are sitting on $13 billion but put only $18.5 million in what the government considers productive projects. The government hopes to raise that to $1.5 billion by mid-2013.

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