Argentinian Peso

Short facts about ARS – Argentinian Peso

Argentinian Peso

Read our in-depth guide about the Argentinian Peso (ARS) below:


Common names for ARS

The Argentine peso (ARS) or pesos (plural) are also known colloquially as mangos and as sope in the fun slang language of Lunfardo (sope = the syllables of peso reversed). The current issue of peso (post 1992) is also referred to as peso convertible.


Countries with ARS

The Argentine Republic


Unofficial ARS countries

The Argentine peso (ARS) is not used in any other country than Argentina.


How much are the ARS traded?

The ARS is outside the top fifteen most commonly traded currencies; the Brazilian Real (BRL) has seen more trading as an emerging market currency.


Currency symbol and ISO-code

The currency symbol of the Argentine peso is $, placed before the numeral as the dollar sign is in other uses. Its ISO-code is ARS. Previous codes for Argentine currencies were ARL, ARP and ARA; these are now defunct.


Currency crisis with ARS

Argentina has faced a number of currency crises in its history, often due to hyperinflation, followed by a devaluation of the currency.

From 1999 to 2002, the Argentina faced financial collapse, which led to riots in December 2001. During this time the Central Bank’s reserve of foreign currency was almost depleted, and the fixed exchange rate against the US dollar was terminated in 2001.

The floating exchange rate favoured the export market, and after 2002 the Argentine economy enjoyed a time of growth, during which the Central Bank ensured a favourable exchange rate by purchasing extra USD. In 2003 the International Monetary Fund agreed a loan to aid recovery, and Argentina undertook the task of restructuring its debt. The debt to the IMF was paid in 2006.

However the times of growth may have been part of a cycle of ‘boom and bust’, as Argentina was facing substantial inflation by 2010, and saw the exchange rate weakened by the global financial crisis in 2008-11. During this time the exchange rate of the peso against the US dollar weakened from 3 pesos/dollar to 4, and during 2012 to 5.9 and even over 6 for a time.


Central Bank for Argentinian Peso

The Central Bank of Argentina, called in Spanish Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA) is responsible for the ARS. Its stated aim is to make and implement a consistent monetary policy for Argentina. In practice it has sought to do so by accumulating reserves of currency (usually USD) in order to exert some control over the exchange rate.


Trade ARS

The ARS was held in a fixed rate system against the US dollar from 1992 until 2001. It is now traded in a floating exchange rate.


History of the ARS

Since the days of Argentine independence, the currency of the state has always been called the peso, except for the period 1985-1991, when it was called the austral. Due to hyperinflation, the peso has been devalued and re-issued several times in Argentine history. Different terms have been used to differentiate these historical issues of pesos, such as moneda nacional, ley, argentine.

The current peso, with the code ARS, was established in 1992. Until 2001 this currency was pegged to the US dollar at par, and was (and still is) known as peso convertible, due to its convertibility with USD. The Argentine government seeks to keep the peso at a competitive level to aid exports and to further this end, the Central Bank will purchase USD on the open market to sustain a rate of around 3 pesos to 1 US dollar. However during 2012 the rate has increased to 5.90 and even exceeded 6 pesos to a dollar for a time.

The Republic of Argentina is a member of the G20 group of major world economies. It has the third-largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico.


ARS vs other currencies

Most commonly the ARS trades against the USD. The Argentine peso had been pegged to the US Dollar, and the Central Bank has had a policy of buying USD in the markets to ensure it maintains its price against the ARS.


Pictures of ARS notes and coins

Notes and coins of the Argentine currency (ARS) are depicted in the image below:
Argentinian PesoArgentinian Peso coins