World Politics

Argentina signals breakthrough 'understanding' with IMF in $40 billion debt talks

Key Points
  • The South American country has been locked in talks with the IMF over a new program to revamp debt outstanding from a failed $57 billion loan deal from 2018 which it cannot repay.
  • Recent uncertainty over a deal has hammered Argentina's sovereign bonds, while anti-IMF rhetoric has risen in the grain producing country,.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez gestures as he offers a press conference to announce new measures regarding the lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, at Olivos Residence in Olivos, north of Buenos Aires, on May 23, 2020.
Alejandro PAGNI | AFP via Getty Images

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez is set to address the nation on Friday over "understandings" with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), signaling a potential breakthrough in tense and winding talks to revamp some $40 billion in debt.

The South American country has been locked in talks with the IMF over a new program to revamp debt outstanding from a failed $57 billion loan deal from 2018 which it cannot repay. It faces a $700 million payment due on Friday.

"Official. President Alberto Fernandez will speak to the country today at 10 am (1300 GMT) from the Olivos residence about understandings with the International Monetary Fund," the presidential spokesperson's office said.

It did not give more details.

Recent uncertainty over a deal has hammered Argentina's sovereign bonds, while anti-IMF rhetoric has risen in the grain producing country, with some protesters on Thursday calling for the government to suspend repayments.

The two sides had been at loggerheads over how quickly Argentina should reduce its fiscal deficit, with the country arguing it needed to be able to maintain spending to preserve a fragile economic growth recovery.

The government added that at 10.15 am the Minister of Economy Martin Guzman, who has been spearheading talks with the IMF, and Cabinet chief Juan Manzur would give a press conference also on understandings in the negotiations.