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IMF officials in talks with Argentina government after market rout

IMF officials in talks with Argentina government after market rout

Fund’s staff to head to Buenos Aires amid fallout from Mauricio Macri’s setback in primary polls

IMF officials are in talks with Mauricio Macri’s government in Argentina as it develops “policy plans” to tackle the brutal sell-off that has afflicted the Latin American nation since a primary vote this month foreshadowed a populist victory in upcoming presidential elections.

“We are closely following recent developments in Argentina and are in ongoing dialogue with the authorities as they work on their policy plans to address the difficult situation that the country is facing,” Gerry Rice, the IMF spokesman said on Twitter on Tuesday. He added that IMF staff would travel to Buenos Aires “soon”.

Mr Macri, Argentina’s sitting president, suffered a severe blow in primary elections this month. Alberto Fernández, a populist challenger, is now the clear frontrunner ahead of the presidential election set for October.

Mr Macri had negotiated a package of reforms that allowed Argentina to receive a $57bn bailout from the IMF — the largest in IMF history — which could be in peril if Mr Fernández were to secure control of the presidency in the autumn.

The rising chances of victory for Mr Fernández sent Argentine assets, including its currency, the peso, plummeting, jeopardising the economic stability that had returned to the country in recent months.

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