Argentina is in danger of not paying back its debts

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Argentina Flag during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Photo: Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Argentina is in danger of not being able to pay back its debts after nearly two decades of being bailed out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Officials from the US-based group flew to Argentina to assess the country’s current $56bn (£45bn) bailout and whether it should still keep giving the country more money.

IMF officials arrived in Argentina on Saturday and are still discussing with policy makers over whether it should withhold a $5.3bn instalment due next month — that would risk exacerbating the situation — or continue to pay the amount despite the nation looking no closer to resolving its debt crisis.

Argentina is still trying to restructure its debt after it defaulted on sovereign bond payments back in 2001 — which plunged the nation into the worst economic crisis in the country’s history.

The restructuring plan, which allowed Argentina to resume payments on 26% of its $82bn worth of sovereign bonds, began in January 2005. But the IMF bailout plan, nearly 20 years later has failed to drag Argentina’s economy out of recession.

Since Argentina’s 11 August primary election, the country’s central bank has spent over $700m to bolster the peso, leading to a collapse in the value of the currency.

Todd Martinez, director of sovereign ratings at Fish debt agency, told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that Argentina has three options to repay debt — but none of them "looks very viable."

"It comes down to a simple equation. Argentina can either dip into its savings, borrow new money or achieve a budget surplus,” said Martinez.

"We never raised its credit rating above B for the reason that it had borrowed so much in dollars and from abroad, and the country was always very vulnerable to any change in sentiment."

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