Mexico hopes to hold onto $72 billion IMF credit line-finmin

ACAPULCO, April 4 Fri Apr 4, 2014 1:49pm EDT

ACAPULCO, April 4 (Reuters) - Mexico hopes to hold onto a flexible credit line with the International Monetary Fund worth around $72 billion in order to help protect local financial markets, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Friday.

Videgaray said holding onto the credit line would be helpful "to assure the stability of Mexican financial markets" as investors eye less U.S. monetary stimulus and an eventual move to raise benchmark interest rates in the United States.

"Our goal is to maintain the flexible credit line in the same terms," he told reporters at a banking convention in the Pacific resort of Acapulco. He said negotiations with the IMF were set for the second half of the year.

Foreign holdings of Mexican peso debt have grown sevenfold since 2008 to around 1.9 trillion Mexican pesos ($146.03 billion) and tighter monetary policy in the United States could push investors to dump Mexican assets, hammering the peso.

($1 = 13.0108 Mexican Pesos) (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle)

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