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Maduro buys gold to boost savings amid five-digit inflation

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Nicolas Maduro said he is investing part of his personal savings in a gold-backed certificate as part of a much-questioned plan to crush hyperinflation and reactivate Venezuela’s moribund economy.

Maduro was the first in line at the central bank Monday as it began selling the certificates designed to protect Venezuelans against five-digit inflation. They function like a fixed-term deposit that is supposedly backed by a 1.5 gram piece of gold held at the central bank.

The gold savings plan is part of an economic overhaul slowly taking effect seeking to dismantle decade-old currency controls, boost government revenues and jumpstart private investment in the oil industry.

But many economists predict it’ll collapse as the government prints bolivars to fund a deficit estimated at over 20 percent of gross domestic product.