Argentina to seek new extended IMF facility to replace failed programme, says Guzman | Money

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Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman says the country will seek an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to replace a failed US$57 billion facility. ― Reuters pic

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 10 ― Argentina will seek an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to replace a failed US$57 billion (RM234.2 billion) facility, Economy Minister Martin Guzman said yesterday, potentially buying the South American country more time to make repayments.

The EFF is a longer-term programme that typically requires more economic reforms than a standby agreement. Argentina would expect to repay the IMF between four and a half years and 10 years after the start of the agreement, Guzman said, adding that he aimed to secure a new deal by April.

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A longer-term deeper structural reform package as part of an EFF could be a positive signal for investors who are looking to the government for a commitment to a sustainable economic plan.

Argentina has recently emerged from a sovereign default after restructuring almost US$110 billion in foreign currency bonds. It faces formal talks with an IMF mission starting today for a deal to replace the 2018 agreement, which has already seen around US$44 billion disbursed.

Argentina was looking for funds “to meet all maturities, capital plus interest,” Guzman said.

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

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A mission from the IMF is due to start negotiations with the government today and will stay in Argentina for about two weeks, Guzman said. Argentina and the IMF will advance with Article IV talks, Guzman added, which would allow the IMF to inspect Argentina’s accounts.

The Ministry of Economy said earlier yesterday that it would send 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 bill would mean no IMF deal could go ahead without Congress support nor could the government issue foreign debt without backing from lawmakers. ― Reuters

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