President Raul Alfonsin today said that Argentina has reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund and that the United States will help with a loan to prevent the downgrading of overdue payments on the country's $48.4-billion foreign debt.
Commenting on Argentina's meeting in Washington with the IMF and creditor banks, Alfonsin said, "It has ended in a satisfactory manner. "
Speaking in a televised interview, Alfonsin said Argentina had obtained a bridge loan "from the United States, several European and even Latin American countries."
Alfonsin did not identify the other countries that would participate in the bridge loan, but Ambito Financiero, a daily newspaper specializing in economic affairs, said they were Colombia, Venezuela and Spain.
The newspaper said the U.S. Treasury will provide $250 million while another $250 million will come from the other three countries. The newspaper called the bridge loan "practically a completed act."
The bridge loan and at least $400 million from the country's reserves will be used to pay overdue obligations on the country's foreign debt before a June 10 meeting of creditor banks to assess their Argentina loans.
If the overdue payments are not made before the meeting, the banks could be forced to downgrade their status. Such a downgrading would be reflected in quarterly reports to shareholders, and would boost the cost of new credit to Argentina.