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ECONOMY | 29-08-2019 12:50

Peso continues to fall, despite plan to delay debt payment

National currency traded at the opening at 62.33 per US dollar, which marks a depreciation of almost 3.5 percent compared to Wednesday.

The peso continued its collapse on Thursday, despite the announcement of the government of Mauricio Macri of measures to promote a postponement in the cancellation of debts with the IMF and private creditors.

The peso traded at the opening at 62.33 per US dollar, which marks a depreciation of almost 3.50 percent compared to Wednesday.

Macri had called for calm before the opening of the markets.

"It is in our hands to contribute to tranquility without generating fears or bewilderment," the president said at a public event in a shipyard.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Hernán Lacunza, had announced that Argentina proposed to the IMF "to initiate a dialogue to rebalance debt maturities."

The agency granted in 2018 a financial aid for US$56 billion dollars whose first maturities operate in 2021.

Argentina also announced the rescheduling of bond maturities with private institutional creditors, extending them for up to six months in order to vent their short-term portfolio in the hope of stopping capital flight and easing the exchange rate tension that sank 20 percent of the value of the Weight in two weeks.

The government also sent a bill to Congress to promote a voluntary refinancing of debt maturities "without taking away capital or interest and with the only extension of terms," ​​Lacunza said Wednesday.

The economic crisis worsened since August 11, when Macri finished 15 points behind Peronist Alberto Fernández in primaries for the October 27 presidential elections.

"We have 59 days forward until the elections. The best way is my responsibility as president, but it never depends on a single government," Macri said Thursday.

An IMF mission met this week in Buenos Aires with government authorities and then also with Fernández and his economic advisors.

The agency must assess whether it makes the disbursement of US$5.4 billion expected by September 15.

On Wednesday night and after the announcements, the IMF ratified its support for Argentina, although it said that it is still "in the process of analyzing and evaluating its impact" on the measures.

The first maturities of the IMF loan are scheduled for 2021. Lacunza said that a dialogue with the IMF to extend the deadlines would begin with the Macri government but would end in the next term that opens on December 10.

Argentina has been in recession since 2018, with 32 percent of poverty and inflation that reached 25% between January and July, one of the highest in the world.

– AFP

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