Argentina, IMF reach preliminary 44.5 bln USD deal to resolve debt

BUENOS AIRES, March 3 (Xinhua) — Argentina and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a preliminary 44.5-billion-U.S.-dollar agreement on Thursday to help the South American country manage its debt burden, the Economy Ministry said.

The “Debt Refinancing Agreement between the Argentine Republic and the International Monetary Fund” will be promptly submitted to Congress for approval, the ministry said in a statement.

“After intense negotiations, the national government managed to reach an agreement with the IMF that will allow the country to refinance the commitments assumed” in 2018, the ministry said, referring to a loan deal between the IMF and Argentina’s previous government.

The international lending agency issued its own statement on Thursday, saying the two sides reached “a staff-level agreement on the economic and financial policies to be supported by a 30-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement.”

The deal “aims to provide Argentina with balance of payments and budget support to address the country’s most pressing economic challenges and to enhance the prospects of all Argentines by implementing measures designed to promote growth and protect essential social programs,” the IMF said in the statement.

The staff-level agreement is still subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, it said.