An Argentine financial services company has launched Ualintec Capital, its own broker-dealer with the aim to expand the investment options available to their clients.

FREMONT, CA: Ualá, an Argentine financial services company, with the aim to expand the investment options available to their clients through its wallet app is launching its own broker-dealer. It is called Ualintec Capital, and it began operations on Tuesday by enabling select customers in the South American country to buy dollars using a parallel rate known locally as Dolar MEP, according to Pierpaolo Barbieri, the company's founder and CEO.  It intends to ultimately allow customers to acquire Cedears, depository receipts for US stocks and to launch its own funds in early 2022.

Ualá, which was valued - in its most recent fundraising round - 2.5 billion dollars, is one of the fintech businesses competing with brick-and-mortar banks as the region's middle class demands more sophisticated financial services. In Argentina, where yearly inflation exceeds 50%, the option for Ualá users to put funds held in their electronic wallets into a money-market mutual fund immediately gained traction, with 1.3 million of the country's 3.5 million customers opting in.

In Argentina, where annual inflation overflows 50 percent, an option for Ualá users to invest cash stored in their electronic wallets into a money-market mutual fund quickly gained popularity, with adoption from 1.3 million users out of the 3.5 million customers it holds in the country.

Furthermore, he added in a telephonic interview that they want to supplement it with options that may provide a higher yield or a different risk profile. Ualá, which hosts more than 30 percent of all investment accounts in Argentina, questioned why they would give that business to another brokerage. Dolar MEP, known as the purchase of greenbacks through a series of bond operations, has gained popularity in Argentina despite severe capital controls that limit savers to only purchasing 200 dollars per month through official channels as the government aims to preserve foreign reserves. Likewise, these purchases are heavily taxed. The MEP exchange rate is approximately 200 pesos per dollar, which is twice the official rate, which is around 100.