June 13, 2018 / 2:38 PM / 4 months ago

Argentina to use $7.5 billion from IMF deal to finance budget

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine authorities have asked to use $7.5 billion of the $50 billion financing deal signed with the International Monetary Fund to fund their budget, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement on Wednesday.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri holds a meeting with Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne, Finance Minister Luis Caputo, Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger and other members of the government's economic team that led negotiations with the IMF (International Monetary Fund), at Olivos presidential residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina June 8, 2018. Argentine Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

That marked half of the 30 percent of the total that authorities requested be disbursed immediately, Lagarde said. The Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that the $7.5 billion would be sold on the market through pre-announced daily auctions conducted by the central bank.

The peso currency ARS=RASL added to gains after the Finance Ministry announcement, but turned negative later in the session. It closed down 2.5 percent weaker at a record-low 26.40 per U.S. dollar, as the central bank retreated from the spot market after selling reserves early in the day.

A Treasury Ministry spokesman said the government would soon publish a letter of intent of the policies it would implement in the context of the IMF deal.

The IMF board is expected to meet to discuss final approval of the Argentina deal on June 20.

Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Luc Cohen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

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