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ECONOMY | 05-01-2024 08:25

IMF mission team in Buenos Aires for talks with Milei government

Argentina’s new government set to receive mission team from multilateral lender for talks over US$7.7 billion in maturities due this year; Milei administration considers IMF programme to be “virtually collapsed.”

Officials from the International Monetary Fund will land in Buenos Aires today ahead of a series of key meetings – the first with Argentine government officials since the inauguration of Javier Milei as president. 

The IMF delegation will be made up of key officials from the Western Hemisphere Department who are also supervisors of the current programme with Argentina. The team will be headed by Luis Cubeddu and Ashvin Ahuja.

Leading talks for Argentina will be new Economy Minister Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo, Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse, with authorities from the Treasury and Central Bank also in attendance.

Argentina’s new government wants to reach a new technical agreement with the Fund as soon as possible. It considers the programme to be "virtually collapsed," Milei’s chief spokesman Manuel Adorni said earlier this week.

Large debt maturities are due this month and there are no new disbursements from Washington on the cards. More than US$7.7 billion is due in total this year.

Talks between the IMF and Argentina will seek to”redirect the agreement” following the “non-fulfillment of all the goals set” by Milei’s predecessor in office, former president Alberto Fernández, said Adorni.

IMF spokespersons told the Télam state news agency earlier this week that the objective of the mission is to “continue negotiations on the seventh review of the IMF-supported programme."

"Our objective remains to support ongoing efforts to restore macroeconomic stability for the benefit of Argentina and its people," the sources told the news agency.
Adorni said he is confident a new agreement can be reached with the IMF to restructure Argentina’s US$44.5-billion debt programme.

"I understand that, at least based on the previous agreements, we should have absolutely no differences with the Fund, since we have a very clear fiscal plan," stressed the spokesperson.

Earlier this week, Caputo denied reports that Argentina would receive a fresh batch of funds from the multilateral lender. He also stressed that Argentina would pay what it owes. The country has a debt of US$1.9 billion to pay this month and reporting suggests Milei’s officials will seek to delay and bundle payments until at least the end of the month.

 

– TIMES/NA
 

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