Wires

UPDATE 2-Argentina to postpone principal payment on AF20 bond until Sept. 30

(Adds context, Wednesday IMF negotiations)

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Argentina has decided to postpone a principal payment on the country's AF20 bond until Sept. 30 as part of the government's wider debt restructuring plan, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.

The payment had been due on Thursday. The government plans to continue making scheduled interest payments on the bond, it said in a statement.

The peso-denominated instrument is linked to Argentina's foreign exchange rate, and was issued under Argentine law.

"The amortization will be postponed until Sept. 30 in order to allow more time for the bond to be restructured in a way that is consistent with the restructuring of the rest of our external debt," the statement said.

The move came less than 24 hours after a failed bond sale by Argentina on Monday that augured poorly for the government's plan for revamping a total of about $100 billion in debt.

It also came on the eve of talks starting on Wednesday with Argentina's biggest creditor, the International Monetary Fund, over the government's strategy for getting out of recession. That strategy hinges on re-negotiating IMF loans and sovereign bonds as a way of giving the economy time to recover.

Left-leaning President Alberto Fernandez hopes to convince the Fund to rejig $44 billion in suspended loans under a program that would avoid the kind of fiscal austerity and structural reforms the IMF typically imposes to restore nations' finances.

And the government hopes to achieve this before a March 31 deadline it has imposed on itself so it may refocus quickly on restoring growth. The future of Latin America's No.3 economy hinges on the Wednesday-through-Friday discussions to be held in Buenos Aires between IMF and Argentine officials.

(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Richard Chang and Lisa Shumaker)