IMF board approves Argentina first review, unlocks $4 bln

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People walk outside the National Congress, as the senate debates the government's agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Buenos Aires, Argentina March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

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June 24 (Reuters) - The executive board of the International Monetary Fund on Friday completed the first review of its $44 billion Extended Fund Facility for Argentina, its managing director said.

The approval allows for the disbursement of about $4 billion.

Kristalina Georgieva said on Twitter the approval marked the conclusion of an initial step under the program to support the country's "ongoing economic recovery and strengthen stability."

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A source familiar with the matter had previously confirmed the information to Reuters.

In a statement, the IMF said that notwithstanding shocks such as inflation pressures and challenging fiscal and reserve

accumulation goals, Argentine authorities have met "all end-March 2022 quantitative targets and have made progress toward implementing the structural commitments under the program."

It added that it maintained the end-year program objectives with some flexibility in the quarterly paths to accommodate those shocks.

Also on Twitter, Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman said the country will continue to implement macroeconomic policies in order to strengthen growth with "job creation and stability."

The IMF announced on June 8 that it had reached a staff-level agreement on an updated macroeconomic framework with authorities in Argentina - the fund's biggest debtor. It said at the time that "all quantitative program targets" for the first quarter of the year had been met.

Argentine authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Tuesday, Argentina's government approved two payments to the IMF for some $2.75 billion.

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Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario in London; Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York and Nicolas Misculin in Buenos Aires; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Leslie Adler, Matthew Lewis and Sandra Maler

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