Argentina President Alberto Fernández issued a decree extending a freeze on diesel and gasoline prices until the end of February, saying that "a comprehensive analysis of tax update" will be carried out until then. The freeze was implemented by predecessor Mauricio Macri in August and already extended by Fernández in December. Fuel prices increased an average of 41.8% during 2019.
Argentina Chamber of Deputies might approve today the so-called Debt Sustainability Bill that will grant powers to the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, to negotiate the sovereign debt. Among those faculties is the determination of the final amount to renegotiate of a universe of $ 140 billion in the securities issued by Argentina under foreign law, which represent 44.9% of the total Argentine public debt.
Aerolíneas Argentina operating deficit has increased 60% in the last four years and its current negative balance is $ 530 million, said the president of the state company, Pablo Ceriani. The new administration plans to reverse the shrinking of the wide-body fleet, and has just announced the addition of three flights between Buenos Aires and Madrid, totalling 10 weekly frequencies as of June 29.
An IMF technical team will travel to Buenos Aires in February, an important step in critical debt negotiations, after Argentine Economy Minister Martín Guzmán held talks in New York on Tuesday with the Deputy Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, Julie Kozack, and the chief of mission for Argentina, Luis Cubeddu, which both parties described as "very productive." Guzmán is scheduled to meet with the IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, next week at the Vatican.
All merger or acquisition of companies that involve a market concentration and whose turnover exceeds ARG$4 billion ($66.3 million), must have prior authorisation from the Secretary of Domestic Trade, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette. This is due to an update of 53.8% of the so-called "Mobile Unit" which in 2019 was ARG $ 26.40.
Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) released policy guidelines aimed at increasing the monetary supply, avoiding major exchange rate fluctuations, and reducing inflation. The monetary policy will support a managed exchange rate float to avoid sharp fluctuations in the value of the currency and will promote a “prudent expansion” of the monetary supply, the bank said. If needed, the bank will assist the Treasury regarding external debt payments.
The Union of Private Oil and Gas Workers in Neuquén called off a threat to go on strike after companies vowed to not fire 600 workers and suspend another 1,200 while waiting for production to pick up. The agreement was signed by Labour Minister Claudio Moroni at an extensive meeting in which the companies requested a crisis prevention procedure to reduce the burden of employer contributions for at least six months.
Argentine government ratified that it will use the loans for $6 billion approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and CAF, for infrastructure works and development programs. President Alberto Fernández will accept these loans approved during the government of Mauricio Macri “for their low cost of financing comparing to what the country could get in the markets,” official sources explained.
Argentine bonds dipped on Wednesday as the provincial government in Buenos Aires was forced to extend until Jan. 31 a deadline for creditors to agree or reject a plan to delay a $250 million bond repayment originally due on Jan. 26. Prices for Argentina’s over-the-counter (OTC) bonds were down on average around 1.3%, while Buenos Aires bonds fell across the board, led by a 3.5 point drop in the 2021 bond.
President Alberto Fernández sent to Congress the draft of the so-called Law of Restoration of the Sovereign Debt Sustainability. The bill gives power to the Government for managing liabilities, swaps or restructuring of bonds maturities under foreign law. “Today we have an unsustainable debt burden. This bill will give us the conditions to structure and execute the operations needed with the aim of restoring public debt sustainability", said Economy Minister Martín Guzmán during a press conference.