May 6, 2020 / 12:19 AM / a month ago

Argentina clinches $4 billion coronavirus loan from Development Bank of Latin America

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) will loan Argentina $4 billion to help finance projects to combat the growing economic impact of the coronavirus, the bank and the government said on Tuesday.

The financing will be disbursed over four years, Argentina´s president Alberto Fernández and the head of CAF, Luis Carranza Ugarte, said in a statement following a video conference.

The bank expects to invest $900 million in Argentina in 2020, and aimed to fast-track infrastructure projects in the South American nation in the coming months, according to the statement.

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus topped 5,000 in Argentina on Tuesday, the government said, but remain far below the level of large neighboring countries Chile, Brazil and Peru.

Argentina has managed to stall the rise in new cases with a strict nationwide lockdown that allows people in major cities outside only for essential labor, emergencies or to buy groceries and other household necessities.

But the lockdown has hit the South American country’s economy hard, with the government now eyeing a 6.5% economic contraction this year.

Reporting by Walter Bianchi, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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