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ARG | Nov 10, 2020

Argentina talks new extended IMF facility with mission team today

/ Our Today

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 New facility would replace failed US$57 billion programme

Martin Guzman, minister of economy for Argentina. (Photo: Insider.com)

 By Durrant Pate

The government of Argentina goes into talks today with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it seeks an extended fund facility (EFF) with the multilateral lending agency to replace its failed $57 billion 2018 standby arrangement.

Argentina Economy Minister Martin Guzman, who made the announcement yesterday, noted that securing an EFF from the IMF would potentially buy Argentina more time to make repayments on its mounting debts totaling billions of dollars. The EFF is a longer-term programme than the standby facility.

The EFF typically requires more economic reforms than a regular agreement with the fund. According to the economy minister, Argentina would expect to repay the IMF between four and a half years and 10 years after the start of the agreement.

The International Monetary Fund offices.

The Alberto Fernández administration is aiming to secure a new deal with the IMF by April next year. Guzman argued that a longer-term deeper structural reform package as part of an EFF would send a positive signal for investors, who are looking to the government for a commitment to a sustainable economic plan for the South American country.

Argentina has recently emerged from a sovereign default after restructuring almost US$110 billion in foreign currency bonds and has seen some US$44 billion disbursed from its 2018 US$57 billion standby agreement with the IMF. The Argentinian government is hoping for a positive outcome from today’s talks with an IMF mission team now in the island to start negotiations with the administration on its Article IV consultations.

The IMF mission team will remain in Argentina for about two weeks, which would allow them sufficient time to inspect Argentina’s accounts and finances.

“The staff of the IMF and the Argentine government considered that, in the current circumstances, this type of program is the best choice.”

Martin Guzman, minister of economy in Argentina

Guzman has said that Argentina is looking for additional funds from the IMF “to meet all maturities, capital plus interest”.

Speaking to journalists, Guzman stated that “the staff of the IMF and the Argentine government considered that, in the current circumstances, this type of program is the best choice”.

Earlier the Ministry of Economy reported that it would be sending a bill to Congress that would establish the legislature, as the final approver of agreements with the IMF and the issuance of new foreign debt.

The effect of the bill would restrict the government from making any deal with the IMF without first seeking approval from the country’s Congress  nor could the Alberto Fernández administration issue foreign debt without backing from lawmakers.

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