Argentina to extend maturities of international bonds, IMF debt - Treasury minister

By Eliana Raszewski and Hugh Bronstein BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina will negotiate with holders of its international bonds and the International Monetary Fund to extend the maturities of its debt obligations, as a way of ensuring the country's ability to pay, Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza said on Wednesday.

Reuters August 29, 2019 06:05:12 IST
Argentina to extend maturities of international bonds, IMF debt - Treasury minister

Argentina to extend maturities of international bonds IMF debt  Treasury minister

By Eliana Raszewski and Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina will negotiate with holders of its international bonds and the International Monetary Fund to extend the maturities of its debt obligations, as a way of ensuring the country's ability to pay, Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza said on Wednesday.

At a press conference after meetings with an IMF team visiting Argentina, Lacunza said the government would "re-profile" the maturities of debt owed to the IMF under a $57 billion standby agreement. He said interest and principal payments will not be altered in the re-profiling.

"The priority today is to guarantee stability, because it is useless to launch reactivating measures if there is no stability. The first thing is to recover that stability," Lacunza said at the press conference in Buenos Aires.

Lacunza, who was sworn in as Treasury minister last week, and central bank President Guido Sandleris met with the IMF team on Wednesday. The peso took a beating during the day, even though the central bank heavily intervened in the foreign exchange market for the second consecutive day.

Argentine asset prices have gotten slammed since the Aug. 11 primary election showed business-friendly President Mauricio Macri has surprisingly little public support in his campaign to win a second term in the October general election. He was trounced in the primary by center-left Peronist challenger Alberto Fernandez, who is now the clear front-runner.

"President Macri instructed me to solve the short-term problem to guarantee electoral stability, but also in the medium and long term so as not to leave a problem for the person who follows, be it he or another candidate," Lacunza said.

He said the measures were taken "so that the president can deploy his policies without the restriction of imminent, or too high, debt maturities."

Argentina's peso closed 3.1% weaker at 58.1 per dollar on Wednesday, even as the central bank sold $367 million of its reserves in a second consecutive day of heavy intervention aimed at controlling the peso's fall.

Worries over Argentina's ability to meet its dollar-denominated debt obligations have increased since the Aug. 11 primary. The peso has lost almost 22% of its value against the U.S. dollar since then.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi, Jorge Otaola, Hernan Nessi, Hugh Bronstein, Cassandra Garrison, Maximillan Heath and Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Sonya Hepinstall and Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.