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LATAM round-up: Argentina-IMF: bitter relations

Argentina is threatening to leave the IMF, according to reports in the local media, as relations take another turn for the worse. Basking in his success in October’s legislative elections, president Nestor Kirchner wants the IMF to soften its demands. The Fund wants Argentina to let the peso appreciate and to tighten monetary policy.

The Argentine government, however, reckons these policies would strangle the country’s economic recovery. Argentina owes the IMF $9.9 billion over the next three years and $10.5 billion in total. It is hoping to get a new standby agreement to help reschedule its repayments. If it left the IMF, though, it could liquidate its shares for about $3 billion, according to Walter Molano of BCP Securities. It would then have five years to pay off the balance, according to the Articles of Agreement with the IMF, “which seems to be a more manageable schedule,” says Molano.

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