FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

International Monetary Fund visits Argentina over refinancing debt

By Xinhua Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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BUENOS AIRES - A team of experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Argentina on Monday to discuss the possibility of refinancing the country's massive foreign debt.

The mission led by Luis Cubeddu, a member of IMF's research department, is set to hold multiple meetings with local officials, state news agency Telam said on its website.

This is the second mission sent by the IMF to Argentina since the country came under new leadership on Dec. 10.

Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman (2nd R) speaks with the IMF Deputy Director for the Western Hemisphere Julie Kozack, Head of the IMF mission in Argentina Luis Cubeddu (2nd L), and IMF's Director of the Southern Cone Sergio Chodos during a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina February 14, 2020. Argentina's Economic Ministry press office/Handout via Reuters.

After week-long talks with the first mission, which arrived on Feb. 12, both sides agreed that Argentina's debt burden "is not sustainable."

The South American country's former government applied to the IMF for a bailout and received over 44.1 billion U.S. dollars as part of the lending agency's largest-ever loan agreement.

On Thursday, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Argentina's government had not requested a formal negotiation, so, for now, the two sides were just holding informal talks regarding a new payment plan.

Argentina and the IMF signed a stand-by loan agreement in mid-2018 for some 56.7 billion dollars.

Argentina's new government has said it will not request the remaining over 12 billion dollars, instead opting to negotiate a deal with the IMF that will allow it to begin servicing the debt "when the national economy starts to grow again."

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