Massa says Argentina will pay its October IMF maturities with yuan

The economy minister announced it would pay the US$2.6 billion due this month early to avoid ‘uncertainty’

Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced on Wednesday that Argentina will pay its US$2.6 billion October maturities to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week with funds obtained from the currency swap with China.

After Argentina’s Central Bank agreed to extend its currency swap with China for a free access amount of 47 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion), Massa said that the government would pay the maturities of the IMF early so that there was “no uncertainty.”

The maturities for the month are divided into three payments — one on October 6 for US$1.2 billion, another on October 12 for US$640 million, and a third for US$673 million on the last business day of the month.

Argentina had already used yuan to pay the lender in June.

Former president Mauricio Macri signed a loan of US$44 billion in 2018, the biggest in the IMF’s history at the time. The Alberto Fernández administration renegotiated the debt and reached an Extended Fund Facility program with the lender. This includes an economic program that Argentina must comply with to receive disbursements every three months, which the government uses to pay the previous debt. 

IMF staff and Argentina had reached an agreement late in July for the fifth and sixth reviews of the program. The board approved the disbursement on August 23, one week after the government devalued the peso by 22%.

Massa has consistently held the IMF responsible for “imposing” August’s devaluation.


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