Argentina seeks emergency release of $50bn in IMF funds amid financial crisis

Pedestrians walk past an electronic board showing currency exchange rates in Buenos Aires' financial district, Argentina, June 29, 2018. Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Wednesday he had requested IMF do so in order to "eliminate any uncertainty that was created before the worsening of the global outlook".

The president's assertion came on a day the Argentinian peso fell to an all-time low of 34.2 against the United States dollar.

Instead, Macri's admission that there was a "lack of confidence in the markets" about Argentina's ability to finance its deficit next year sowed panic among investors. He said the decision sought to dispel any uncertainty, but he did not specify the amount or when the funds would be released.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement that she had instructed her staff to "reexamine the phasing of the financial program".

While analysts have praised moves such as obtaining the International Monetary Fund credit line in June and previous rate increases, there's also lingering suspicion that officials lack the political will to make the spending cuts and tax increases necessary to tame inflation and restore growth.

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The last one, which was punctuated by a 2002 debt default, put millions of middle-class Argentines into poverty.

Argentina has $24.9 billion in peso- and foreign currency-denominated debt payments due next year, according to official data.

"President Macri and I had a productive conversation today".

The June signing of the International Monetary Fund deal reduced the need for costly bond market funding and briefly steadied the peso.

The IMF has admitted it made a string of mistakes that contributed to the problems. The government has since announced more than $2 billion in budget savings, a process Macri promised to continue.

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