Ecuador has completed a merger of market regulators for the hydrocarbons, mining and electricity sectors, with the entry into operation of the new agency headed by economist Diana Arias Urvina.

The merger of three former agencies was part of a rationalisation process instigated by President Lenin Moreno and managed by Ecuador’s Energy Minister Rene Ortiz.

The Moreno administration has also reformulated a deregulatory package that includes a phasing out of fuel price subsidies which, in the first attempt at implementation triggered violent protests last year.