CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's new free-floating foreign exchange system has opened at an average price of 170 bolivars to the dollar, below the black market rate of 190, the Central Bank said on Thursday.
President Nicolas Maduro's government this week created the new currency platform, called Simadi, as the third system in a three-tier exchange control mechanism.
The currency controls now comprise a preferential rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar for food and medicine, a complementary rate of 12 bolivars for other goods through a system called Sicad, and the floating rate via Simadi.
The opening 170 bolivar Simadi rate for the first transactions on Thursday was higher than most economists' predictions, which had ranged from 120-150.
Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Leslie Adler