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ECONOMY | 13-07-2019 09:59

IMF board approves US$5.4B loan payment

The International Monetary Fund’s board confirmed the d isbur sement of another US$5.4-billion payment to the government on Friday, shortly after Treasury Secretary Nicolás Dujovne touted a government surplus which exceeded its creditor’s own expectations.

On Friday evening, acting-IMF chair David Lipton announced the board has completed its fourth review of its agreement with Argentina, raising the total debt issued so far to US$44.1 billion.

IMF staff had given their goahead last week, but the executive board's approval was still necessary. Amid a currency crisis last year, Buenos Aires agreed a US$56-billion loan package with the IMF in order to stabilise its stuttering economy.

“The Argentine authorities continue to show a strong commitment to their economic policy program,” Lipton said in a press release. “While it has taken time, these policy efforts are starting to bear fruit. Financial markets have stabilised, the fiscal and external positions are improving, and the economy is beginning a gradual recovery from last year’s recession.”

The Fund projected in April that Argentina's gross domestic product will grow 2.2 percent in 2020 after contracting 1.2 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2018.

Earlier Friday, Dujovne said the government registered in the first semester of 2019 a primary fiscal surplus of 30 billion pesos (US$719 million), 20 billion pesos above the amount scheduled by the IMF.

Between January and June, the primary fiscal surplus showed a strong contrast with last year's first semester, when it registered a deficit of 105.825 billion pesos (US$2.52 billion).

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