Argentina activates US$5 billion currency swap with China

The news was confirmed after a meeting between the head of the Argentine central bank and his Chinese counterpart.

The heads of the Argentine and Chinese central banks confirmed the activation of the currency swap the two countries signed last November.

The president of Argentina’s central bank, Miguel Pesce, met with the governor of the People’s Bank of China, Yi Gang, in the Swiss city of Basel. As a result of the meeting, the official communiqué adds, both countries committed to deepening the usage of the yuan in the Argentine market for bilateral commerce.

“The swap comprises the exchange of currency for reinforcement of international reserves of 130 billion yuan and a special activation of 35 billion yuan to compensate operations on the foreign exchange market,” added the statement.

President Alberto Fernandez announced the deal in November last year. “It releases the equivalent in yuan to US$5 billion as freely available reserves so the central bank can use them in commercial operations and in the currency exchange market,” Economy Ministry Sergio Massa said at the time.

The agreement aims to increase the nation’s depleted foreign currency reserves. Argentina’s government needs to rebuild reserves to cover trade costs and future debt repayments, and more reserves are a key objective of a major debt deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

China is Argentina’s second biggest trade partner, after Brazil, and the second most important destination for Argentine exports.

Herald and Reuters


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