January 16, 2020 / 1:57 PM / 2 days ago

IMF chief and Argentine economy minister may both attend February meeting

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva waves as she arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

BUENOS AIRES/ROME (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund’s managing director and Argentina’s economy minister may both attend a Vatican conference next month, potentially paving the way for talks as the South American nation faces a massive debt restructuring.

Kristalina Georgieva and Martin Guzman were both listed as speakers for the Feb. 5 conference in an online booklet published by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

A source from Argentina’s Ministry of Economy told Reuters that while Guzman’s participation was likely, it was still not confirmed, given the government’s busy agenda.

An IMF spokesman confirmed Georgieva’s plans to attend but said he had no information about possible bilateral meetings.

The new administration of President Alberto Fernandez, which took office on Dec. 10, is gearing up for the renegotiation of about $100 billion in sovereign debt with creditors including the IMF, which is providing a $57 billion financing package.

Guzman was tapped by Fernandez to lead the talks. He is listed as speaker at the Vatican City conference, while Georgieva will deliver a keynote address.

Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Buenos Aires and Philip Pullella in Rome; editing by John Stonestreet and Rosalba O'Brien

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