Following months of steady devaluation of the Argentine peso against the US dollar, the government of President Mauricio Macri made yet another move Wednesday to stabilise the exchange rate, which nevertheless reversed its downward trend of the past week, rising 14 cents from Tuesday to close at $ 28.19 / US$ 1.1 comment
Argentina will need to raise a net US$ 8 billion in the domestic debt market in 2019 to meet financing needs that include a US$ 7.4 billion primary deficit and US$ 25 billion in debt principal and interest payments, according to a Treasury Ministry document.
Argentina's central bank said on Monday that it hiked bank reserve requirements by 3 percentage points, following a hike of three percentage points on June 18 as monetary policymakers seek to calm inflation and end a run on the peso currency. The Peso gained 1.9% on Monday against the dollar.
Argentina’s economy shrank in April for the first time in more than a year, government data showed on Tuesday, while the central bank held its policy rate stable at 40% in the first rate decision since a shakeup in its leadership.
Argentine stocks surged on Thursday after index provider MSCI upgraded the country to its emerging markets index a day earlier, a respite from months of dismal economic news for market-friendly President Mauricio Macri. The local Merval stock index closed up 6%, led by industrials and banks. Investment bank Grupo Financiero Valores led gains, rising 18.3%, while aluminum producer Aluar rose 13%.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri appointed Finance Minister Luis Caputo as president of the central bank on Thursday, after the outgoing head of the bank resigned and acknowledged having lost credibility.
Argentine authorities have asked to use US$7.5 billion of the US$50 billion financing deal signed with the International Monetary Fund to fund their budget, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. Argentina’s Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that the funds would be sold on the market through pre-announced daily auctions conducted by the central bank.
Following twelve hours of heated and at time acrimonious debate the Argentine Senate on early Thursday voted, 37 to 30, to freeze utility prices. President Mauricio Macri had anticipated that if the bill was passed he would veto it because there is no way the budget can stand an additional 1% of GDP deficit.
High interest rates will have a negative impact on activity, and the weaker peso resulting from a floating exchange rate regime will add to already sky-high inflation, but both are necessary to prevent a deeper crisis, Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne admitted on Monday.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday she is ready to aid Argentina and wants talks on a financing package to be finalized quickly. Lagarde said she instructed the IMF team to continue discussions on a loan program with the goal to “reach a rapid conclusion.”