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IMF says ready to engage with Argentina's Fernandez on loan program

Credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The International Monetary Fund is ready to engage with Argentina's president-elect, Alberto Fernandez, at any time to discuss the future of Argentina's $57 billion IMF loan, but no meeting has yet been scheduled, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

Adds IMF quotes, details on Argentina program

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is ready to engage with Argentina's president-elect, Alberto Fernandez, at any time to discuss the future of Argentina's $57 billion IMF loan, but no meeting has yet been scheduled, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

"We're ready to engage when it is convenient for them to do so," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular news briefing in Washington.

Fernandez, a Peronist who on Oct. 27 defeated business-friendly leader Mauricio Macri, made renegotiating the IMF program to ease its painful austerity measures a key plank of his election campaign.

Rice said the IMF shares Fernandez' objectives to pull Argentina's economy out of its current crisis and pave the way for more solid and inclusive growth.

The IMF was restricted in its ability to restructure debt owed to the Fund, Rice said, but would play a role in assessing the country's overall debt sustainability, which could affect any renegotiations by Argentina with its bondholders on other debts.

"In order to conduct our debt sustainability, we need the analysis, we need the information on the authorities' policy plans, as well as to take a look at the macroeconomic outlook," Rice said. "We are not in a position to make that assessment right now, because the discussions with the new administration have not yet taken place."

(Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

((David.Lawder@tr.com; +1 202 354 5854; Reuters Messaging: david.lawder.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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