August 20, 2019 / 11:39 AM / 2 months ago

New Argentine treasury minister set to take charge of troubled economy

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 20 (Reuters) - A new treasury minister, Hernan Lacunza, was set to take charge of Argentina’s troubled economy on Tuesday after the local peso took a dive last week following business-friendly President Mauricio Macri’s harsh beating in the Aug. 11 primary election.

Lacunza, formerly the chief of economy for Buenos Aires province, was scheduled to be sworn in before the local financial markets were to open.

Macri, struggling to revive his campaign for a second term in the Oct. 27 general election, is betting that the new treasury chief can help stabilize the recession- and inflation-racked economy.

The cost of insuring against an Argentine sovereign default rose on Monday after opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez said the country would struggle under present conditions to repay a loan to the International Monetary Fund. Fernandez, a center-left Peronist, is the front-runner ahead of the October vote.

Lacunza was expected to give a news conference to outline his policy plans later Tuesday morning. Outgoing treasury minister Nicolas Dujovne quit on Saturday, saying he believed the country needed “significant renewal” of its economic team. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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