The Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, suspended the application of the promotion regime of Law 27.506, known as the "Knowledge Economy Law" that granted tax benefits to productive activities based on the intensive use of technology and digital information, which is Argentina's third export activity. Kulfas argues that it is necessary to review these benefits in order to strengthen SMEs through amendments to the law to be discussed in Congress.
President Alberto Fernández travels to Israel on his first official visit as head of state to participate this week in the International Leaders Forum in Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Fight against Anti-Semitism. About 40 world leaders and the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, will attend this meeting. Governor of Buenos Aires province Axel Kicillof is also part of the Argentine delegation.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in Davos the lender has had “very constructive” exchanges with Argentina’s new government and would do whatever possible to assist the indebted country. Argentina owes the IMF around around $44 billion and the severe economic crisis since last year has forced it to enter negotiations with creditors to restructure around $100 billion of sovereign debt.
Argentina’s Chubut province bonds due 2026 plunged 8 cents to 63.3 cents on the dollar on Friday after its economy minister Oscar Antonena proposed reducing coupons and suspending principal payments for four years on $650 million of the overseas bonds. Out of Chubut’s $855 million total debt, around 80% is held in international bonds.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández will send a bill to Congress to attract investment for the production of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, and particularly for Vaca Muerta. The announcement came during a meeting with executives from the main energy companies operating in Argentina, and the state-owned oil company YPF.
Argentina's central bank (BCRA) has cut its reference interest rate floor (Leliq) to 50% from 52%. Since December 19 to date, Fernández administration has lowered the interest rate by 13 percentage points. The BCRA also enabled a new 90-day fixed-term deposit in pesos that will be adjusted by the inflation rate and to which each bank will add a surcharge of at least 1%.
The fiscal deficit of 2019 was ARG$846 billion ($14.13 billion), equivalent to 3.9% of Argentina's GDP, according to the budget execution report published by the Congressional Budget Office (OPC). A higher tax collection and the adjustment over public spending allowed a primary surplus of ARG$5.5 billion or 0.3% of GDP, which implied an improvement of 2.2 percentage points in relation to 2018.
Argentine government reduced the fiscal deficit by about ARG$ 67 billion ($1.12 billion) through a reallocation of budget items that allows a decrease in capital expenditures. The Argentine Budget Association (ASAP) estimated that the current revenues decreased by ARG$1.2 billion, as Fabricaciones Militares (Army factories) were transformed into a State Society, and at the same time consumption expenses were reduced by ARG$1.77 billion.
President Alberto Fernández said he has set a March 31 deadline to renegotiate Argentina’s rampant public debt and that a more “innovative” International Monetary Fund approves of the direction his government is taking.“That is the ceiling we have set, because there are significant maturities,” Fernández said in an interview with the online news site El Cohete A La Luna.
Argentine representative Sergio Chodos takes office this week in Washington as the new director of the Southern Cone before the IMF. During meetings with Kristalina Georgieva and Luis Cubeddu, he will formally present President Alberto Fernández' proposal for paying off $ 44 billion of the stand-by credit agreed in 2018.