Argentina asks IMF for early release of $50b bailout funds

Published: August 30, 2018 11:35:01 | Updated: September 01, 2018 13:36:39

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri gestures during a news conference at the Olivos Presidential Residence in Buenos Aires on May 16, 2018 — Reuters/File

Argentina's government has unexpectedly asked for the early release of a $50 billion loan from the IMF amid a growing economic crisis.

President Mauricio Macri said the move was designed to restore confidence in the Argentine economy.

The Argentine peso has lost more than 40 per cent of its value against the US dollar this year and inflation is rampant, according to a BBC report Thursday.

The IMF confirmed on Wednesday it was looking to strengthen the arrangement and changing its phasing.

"I stressed my support for Argentina's policy efforts and our readiness to assist the government in developing its revised policy plans," Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in a statement.

Investors are concerned Argentina may not be able repay its heavy government borrowing and could default.

Correspondents say the decision to speed up the IMF bailout smacks of growing desperation.

When the terms of the loan were agreed in May, President Macri said he expected the economy to recover and did not plan to use the money.


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