February 5, 2020 / 12:01 AM / 20 days ago

Argentina economy minister holds 'very constructive' meeting with IMF chief

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman attends a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mariana Greif

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman met the head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva for two-and-a-half hours on Tuesday to discuss the country’s economic emergency, the ministry said.

The financially troubled South American country is revamping its debt as the government tries to jump-start growth while inflation soars above 50%.

“We will continue our conversations with the fund, in a framework of growing mutual understanding,” Guzman said in the statement, adding that talks included “policies to resolve Argentina’s sovereign debt crisis in a sustainable way.”

The meeting took place in Rome, ahead of an economists’ conference at the Vatican scheduled for Wednesday.

“We agreed to continue deepening our dialogue next week, when a technical mission from the IMF will visit Argentina,” Guzman said, calling Tuesday’s meeting “very constructive”.

Buenos Aires province narrowly averted default earlier in the day, saying it would make a $277 million payment on a 2021 bond after creditors declined a last-minute appeal to delay it.

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Walter Bianchi; Editing by Sam Holmes

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