October 17, 2019 / 2:15 PM / a month ago

IMF will stand by Argentina during crisis - Georgieva

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva arrives at an opening press conference during the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Fall Meetings of finance ministers and bank governors, in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will stand by Argentina as it works through its economic crisis, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.

She added that the Fund was waiting to see the future policy framework adopted by the Latin American country, which holds an election later this month in which a change of government is widely predicted.

“We are fully committed to work with Argentina and we are closely engaged,” Georgieva told reporters, when asked about the future of a record $57 billion line of credit given to Argentina by the IMF last year, after a market crash exacerbated a debt crisis and pushed the grain producer towards default.

Georgieva, who took over as IMF chief last month, said the IMF’s will to stand by Argentina remained “as strong” as it had been under her predecessor Christine Lagarde.

IMF officials are expected to meet with officials from Argentina during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington this week, but sources familiar with the issue said no decision was expected on the release of the next $5.4 billion tranche of the IMF facility.

Georgieva told reporters the IMF was closely following developments in Argentina, and suggested the global lender was awaiting the outcome of the Oct. 27 presidential election.

“We will be very interested to see what policy framework will be put in place, and when we know that, we can continue this conversation,” she said in answer to a question about the IMF’s plans regarding the credit facility.

Presidential election front-runner Alberto Fernandez has said the IMF should give Argentina time to revive economic growth to be able to pay off its debts.

Argentina is facing a debt crunch after a sharp market crash in August pushed the country toward default and forced President Mauricio Macri to roll out plans to delay payments on around $100 billon of debt.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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