IMF informally briefed on Argentina and on Friday will address possible censure
The International Monetary Fund’s board of directors was informally briefed on the economic situation in Argentina, which has refused to undergo an annual assessment since 2006.
The briefing by the IMF staff took place on Monday, the Washington-based IMF said in a statement. The 24 directors are scheduled to meet on Friday February first to decide whether to censure Argentina for not providing accurate data on inflation and economic growth.
Argentina is the only member of the Group of 20 nations that is refusing to allow the IMF to do its annual mandatory review of the country’s economy, a procedure known as an Article IV consultation. Somalia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Madagascar are the other countries where there’s been no such assessment in more than 18 months, according to the fund.
“Informal sessions to brief the board based on information available are held approximately every 12 months for members whose Article IV consultations are delayed by more than 18 months,” the IMF said in the statement.
A similar mechanism was recently employed with Ecuador a country which does not have an updated article IV review.
The last article IV for Argentina was in 2006, 62 months ago. President Cristina Fernandez late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, accused the lender of pushing South America’s second-biggest economy into a financial crisis that led it to default on 95 billion dollars of sovereign bonds in 2001.
Last January 17, in her first press conference of the year IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the board would be addressing the Argentine case regarding its stats on inflation and GDP.
Private economists estimate Argentina’s inflation rate at 26%. Between soaring prices and the region’s worst performing currency, bond investors demand the highest return among major emerging countries to own Argentine debt. The country’s notes yield 1,090 basis points, or 10.90 percentage points, more than U.S. Treasuries, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBIG index.