© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Presidential pre-candidate Sergio Massa speaks during his presentation at the 135th Argentine Rural Society’s annual exposition, in Buenos Aires, Argentina July 24, 2023. REUTERS/Matias Baglietto/File Photo
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa said on Monday the country will not use “a single dollar” of its own reserves to make a $2.7 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due this week.
Massa, who is also a presidential candidate in this October’s election, said in a speech that it would be possible because of an extended swap deal with China and a new loan from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).
Massa confirmed the repayment will be made with a $1 billion bridge loan from CAF and $1.7 billion coming from the second tranche of a swap with China, a move Buenos Aires recently made to complete part of its June payment to the IMF.
Argentina, which has been grappling with a severe economic crisis with sky-high inflation and falling central bank reserves, needed to avoid a default with the Fund, with maturities of $2.6 billion due on Monday and almost $800 million due on Tuesday.
“I want to bring you peace of mind – Argentina is not going to use a single dollar of its reserves to pay today’s maturity,” Massa said in a televised speech.
The challenge for Argentina now, he added, is to “continue to take care of the (foreign currency) reserves while maintaining the economic activity levels.”