Argentina Sees ‘Improved’ IMF Deal, With $3 Billion Payment Delayed

(Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund has put on hold this month’s $3 billion payment to Argentina as the parts conclude negotiations to speed up disbursements of a record $50 billion credit line, according to an economy ministry spokesman.

The payment was expected to be made Monday but will be delayed until negotiations for an “improved” deal conclude within the next two weeks, the spokesman said, adding that Argentina didn’t need the money right away. An IMF spokesman declined to comment.

Argentine officials have asked the IMF to advance a large portion of the credit line in order to soothe investor concern about the government’s ability to cover its financial needs next year amid an austerity push and a presidential election.

It’s unknown how much of the credit line Argentina is seeking to receive in advance. Uncertainty over the government’s spending cuts, along with a surprise announcement by President Mauricio Macri about changing the IMF deal, sparked a sharp sell-off in the peso in late August.

The peso had already closed Friday before the news of the delayed disbursement. It fell 0.7 percent to finish at an all-time low of 39.82 per dollar. It’s down more than 50 percent so far this year, the worst-performing emerging market currency.

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