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Argentina concludes exploratory round of debt revamp talk with IMF -source

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 11 (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund mission concluded a visit to Argentina on Sunday, after several days of preliminary talks aimed at repaying about $44 billion owed by the cash-strapped government to the fund, a government source said.

The delegation of IMF economists arrived early last week, led by Julie Kozack, Western Hemisphere deputy director for the IMF. “This first visit has concluded,” the government source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Argentina recently restructured about $100 million in non-performing bonds. The country is in a deep recession exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The government says an IMF revamp is its next step toward debt sustainability.

In 2018, then-President Mauricio Macri signed a $57 billion standby lending agreement with the fund in a failed attempt to halt a run on the local currency. Argentina got $44 billion of the IMF money before suspending the “unsustainable” agreement.

Sergio Chodos, IMF executive director for the Southern Cone and Argentine representative before the organization, told local newspaper Perfil on Sunday that the mission was “exploratory” and would be followed up by more in-depth debt revamp talks.

Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Peter Cooney

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