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IMF remains strongly engaged with Argentina; meeting with officials scheduled for later this month

Friday, September 13th 2019 - 11:47 UTC
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“Our engagement remains strong with Argentina,” IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington “Our engagement remains strong with Argentina,” IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington

The International Monetary Fund is continuing talks with Argentina as authorities there try to stem spiraling economic problems in Latin America’s third-largest economy, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters on Thursday.

He said senior Argentine and IMF officials would meet in Washington later this month, noting that complex market conditions and policy uncertainty made the situation more difficult.

Argentina has spent US$15 billion in foreign reserves over the last month to stabilize its peso, which crashed along with the country’s bonds after Peronist Alberto Fernandez trounced market-friendly President Mauricio Macri in a primary election.

Fernandez has pledged, if elected, to rework a US$ 57 billion credit line Argentina hammered out with the IMF last year to avoid defaulting on foreign debt as it grappled with soaring inflation and a weak peso.

The country’s inflation rate is expected to reach 53% in December 2019, but will fall back to 34% the following year, government officials said on Wednesday.

Rice said the global lender had repeatedly documented external and internal risks in its assessments of Argentina’s economy, and remained closely engaged with authorities there to help stabilize the economy.

“Our engagement remains strong with Argentina,” Rice told reporters. “The IMF’s objective has been to try and help the authorities stabilize the challenging situation and allow for a return of confidence that would pave the way for growth.”

He said IMF officials also met with center-left Fernandez, who is now the front-runner in the October presidential election, and other stakeholders, when they were last in Buenos Aires in August.

Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza is due to visit Washington and meet with IMF officials in late September, Rice said. Asked about risks to the IMF program, Rice said, “We need to have the meetings in late September first, and then we’ll take it from there.”

He said it was clear the IMF was often called upon to help in situations that were rife with risk, and that was the case when Argentina sought the fund’s help last year.

He said the most recent staff report had “stressed that risks to the program could be potentially exacerbated by adverse market reactions and political uncertainties as well. And that’s the situation we’re facing now.”

 

Top Comments

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  • Enrique Massot

    MP should at least qualify idiocies such as “market-friendly Macri” and “populist Alberto Fernandez.”

    Nothing “market-friendly” in Mauricio Macri, who has succeeded dismantling Argentina's domestic productive sector in less than four years, leading to the closure of over 15,000 small and medium-size businesses.

    The only market-friendly side of Macri is the benefits to friends, family members and associates in sectors such as financial, allowing for speculation with sky-high interest rates, carry trade and capital flight. Macri also benefited and gave long-term contracts to some companies such as toll highway Autopistas del Sol (currently under judicial investigation), and the Macri Group is still attempting to erase a USA $ 81 million debt to the government in concept of royalties for the Correo Argentino concession (also under judicial investigation).

    The courts are going to be very busy with these and other Macri-related cases under investigation as soon as the threatening, tight grip on judges is released.

    Sep 15th, 2019 - 06:36 am 0
  • golfcronie

    Tell us “ oh wise one ” who in Argentina is NOT looking to make money,how did Nestor and Cristina make “ so much money ” surely not on a Presidents salary. Do the Presidents in Argentina have to lodge TAX RETURNS or are they the same as the general public and fail to lodge TAX RETURNS.

    Sep 17th, 2019 - 07:00 am 0
  • Enrique Massot

    gc

    Why, of course everybody wants to make money so that they can live.

    A different thing is when you live to make money.

    Sep 18th, 2019 - 05:28 am 0
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