Argentina Seeks Early Release of Funds

Argentina Seeks Early Release of Funds

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Argentina will have to wait at least until the second half of September to find out whether the International Monetary Fund will agree to the early release of a credit line under a $50 billion backup financing arrangement approved earlier this year, Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne said Tuesday.

Dujovne declined to say how much money he had requested during a meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

"All this requires a formal procedure so it receives an agreement at the staff level, which could be taken before the board," Dujovne told reporters after the meeting, adding that he expects the IMF to vote on the request in the second half of the month.

Lagarde said they made progress in the meeting.

"Our discussions will now continue at a technical level and, as stated before, our common objective is to reach a rapid conclusion to present a proposal to the IMF Executive Board," she said in a statement.

While the meeting between Dujovne and Lagarde was grabbing most of the headlines, the Argentine peso kept losing value. The U.S. dollar closed Tuesday at 39.50 pesos per unit compared to 38 the day before. The peso has devaluated around 53 percent so far this year.

Dujovne's meeting with the IMF's managing director followed a morning session with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spoke with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday.

A statement from Trump said that "President Macri is doing an excellent job with this very difficult economic and financial situation."

Macri on Monday announced new taxes on exports and the elimination of several ministries.

(KA)