IMF cannot offer Argentina a haircut on loan, Georgieva

The International Monetary Fund won’t offer Argentina a haircut on its $44 billion loan, according to Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. “Our legal construct is such that we cannot do measures that may be possible for others without this big global responsibility,” she said. An IMF technical mission is in Buenos Aires through Feb. 19 to meet with Argentina officials and assess the country’s debt sustainability. Talks with the IMF will be key for an even bigger negotiation with bondholders to avoid a default.

Banco Nación launches loans for SME clients at a rate of 27.9%

The state-owned Banco Nación began offering loans for small and medium-sized businesses with a subsidised rate of 27.9% per year for its SME clients and 29.5% for those that are not. The Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas said that the rate is subsidised at 12.1% and that AR $ 10 billion will be allocated for the "acquisition of raw materials, salary payments or other expenses of SMEs", which may request up to $ 5 million within 12 months.