Argentina has signed a $45 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help restructure and delay its debt payments.

Negotiations about revamping the country’s debt payments have taken almost two years. That’s leaving Argentina now racing to finalize the deal with the IMF ahead of an essential “cliff payment” deadline this month, which could amount to about $2.8 billion.

Argentina’s finance minister and chief negotiator for the IMF, Martín Guzman, says the bill may be sent to the lower house of congress next week.

If the bill is approved in congress, President Alberto Fernández says payments would start being made in 2026 and would be completed by 2034. While the government said it will replace a $57-billion loan from the IMF 2018 bailout in January 2023, IMF head Kristalina Georgieva says there is still much more work to be done, referring to potential political opposition in congress.

The IMF says the executive board will meet once the Argentine National Congress signs off on a bill to assent to “the economic and financial program embodied in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies.”

“The law that enables the treatment of the Memorandum of Understanding with the IMF for its approval or rejection will formally enter into this chamber,” the head of Argentina’s lower house said in a statement on Wednesday.

The agreement contains measures to promote growth and protect social programs as part of a 30-month Extended Fund Facility to confront “the country’s most pressing economic challenges,” according to a statement from the IMF on Thursday.

Some information in this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

leave a reply