October 21, 2019 / 12:37 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-IMF says it will remain 'strong partner' of Mexico

(Adds comments from Mexico’s Finance Minister, background)

MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will remain a “strong partner” of Mexico, the organization’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said on Sunday following a meeting with the heads of the Mexican Finance Ministry and central bank.

“The Fund will continue to be a strong partner as Mexico seeks to deliver economic stability and prosperity for all Mexicans,” Georgieva said on Twitter.

Georgieva met with Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera and Bank of Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon.

Herrera said he discussed renewing a flexible credit line with the IMF, calling the meeting “very successful.”

“We don’t anticipate using the credit line, but it’s there for contingencies ... we’re going to maintain the line because there is still an uncertain international context,” Herrera said at a press conference in Washington on Saturday.

He had previously said the flexible credit line will be slightly reduced.

The IMF recommended earlier this month that Mexico reconsider its position of limiting private companies’ cooperation with state-owned oil company Pemex, whose debt is weighing heavily on the government’s finances.

While in Washington, Herrera met with the three main credit rating agencies, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

At those meetings Herrera discussed “the 2020 fiscal budget and measures to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth,” the ministry said.

Mexico’s economy barely escaped entering a recession in the first half of the year. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito amd Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Peter Cooney and Steve Orlofsky)

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