Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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ECONOMY | 20-08-2019 12:32

IMF in talks with Argentina, says will send team to Buenos Aires 'soon'

Fund says it is continuing discussions with Argentina and will send a mission to Buenos Aires in the near future, as newly-installed Finance Minister Hernán Lacunza vows to stabilise currency.

The International Monetary Fund says it is continuing discussions with Argentina and will send a mission to Buenos Aires in the near future, a spokesman for the Fund said Tuesday.

"We are closely following recent developments in Argentina and are in ongoing dialogue with the authorities as they work on their policy plans to address the difficult situation that the country is facing," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement. "An IMF staff team will travel to Buenos Aires soon."

The country's economic turmoil took a turn for the worse last week after President Mauricio Macri suffered a devastating loss in the PASO primary elections. After the peso plunged in value, Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne resigned his post.

Ratings agencies downgraded Argentina's debt on Friday, as investors fled the country and the outlook deteriorated.

Opposition Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández, now the clear favourite to unseat Macri, has questioned the reform program backed by a US$56-billion IMF rescue package. He said the country is "virtually" in default and should renegotiate the IMF loan.

The Fund had praised the Macri administration's performance, and said the belt-tightening reforms were starting to yield results that would spur economic growth.

The fund has released just over US$44 billion so far as part of the three-year loan programme, but many economists have said the amount is not enough to stem the tide of Argentina's economic woes.

Macri's newly-installed Finance Minister Hernán Lacunza early Tuesday pledged to stabilise the currency and hold the line on the government's finances.

"Guaranteeing the exchange rate is a first-order objective," Lacunza told reporters. "We will guarantee compliance with the fiscal targets."

– AFP

 

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