Thursday, July 18, 2024

ARGENTINA | 26-08-2019 10:44

IMF to meet again with Lacunza, Fernández's economic team

The Fund hopes to determine whether or not to approve another US$5.3-billion loan in September, the newest installment of its record agreement with the government.

Representatives from the International Monetary Fund will meet Monday with Finance and Treasury Minister Hernán Lacunza, as well as the economic team of Frente de Todos presidential candidate Alberto Fernández. 

An IMF mission team arrived in the country Saturday as concerns about Argentina’s economy cast doubt upon the future of its record US$56-billion bailout. The trip is technically scheduled as the fifth review of Argentina’s IMF credit line, and the government already reached its fiscal targets for June that are under consideration this time.

The chief of the IMF mission's team, Roberto Cardarelli, and the Fund’s Western Hemisphere director, Alejandro Werner, met with Lacunza and Central Bank chief Guido Sandleris on Saturday. The group discussed the government’s economic perspective, according to statements by the government and the IMF. No other details were provided.

Lacunza then saw the representatives again on Sunday.

The ongoing visit by the financial institution is set to determine if it is willing to disburse another US$5.3-billion of the loan in September. 

While the visit will determine the fifth revision of the Fund’s line of credit, and furthermore the government reached it’s fiscal goals in June, the potential revision is anything but ordinary, according to Bloomberg. 

The economic landscape in Argentine changed dramatically since the IMF’s last revision in June. After President Mauricio Macri’s 15-point loss in this month’s primary vote, the peso has weakened 18 percent and the prospects for a default are far more likely. 

The IMF will now test if Argentina is able to pay its debt and guarantee, regardless of who governs, that the government will continue course with the agreement. 

After meeting with the IMF’s Cardarelli on Sunday, Lacunza stated that “there are no reasons” for the Fund not to not disburse the next instalment. 

“We complied with entire agreement with the IMF,” the finance minister said, speaking on Mirtha Legrand’s talk-show programme on Sunday. 

Now the IMF must weigh Argentina’s ability to pay down its debt and provide assurances that no matter who governs, the government will stay the course of the programme.



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