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Argentina ETFs Strengthen on ‘Important Progress’ in IMF Loan Talks

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Argentina stocks and country-specific ETFs bounced higher Monday after the International Monetary Fund stated "important progress" has been made on overhauling the developing country's standby loan agreement.

On Monday, the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT) was up 1.6% and the iShares MSCI Argentina and Global Exposure ETF (AGT) was 1.5% higher. Nevertheless, ARGT and AGT both declined 28.5% so far this year.

Supporting the rebound in Argentina's market, the downtrodden peso currency appreciated and the risk of its bonds defaulting improved slightly as the budget bill and reworked IMF deal grow closer to being announced, Reuters reports.

The peso currency had depreciated over one-half of its value against the U.S. dollar this year to ARS39.5491 to the USD as traders grew dispirited over Argentina's ability to repay 2019 debts.

Bolstering investor confidence, President Mauricio Macri’s 2019 budget bill to be released later Monday, potentially outlining new taxes and spending cuts the government plans for restoring fiscal balance. The details have been negotiated with the IMF, which is revamping its $50 billion standby financing deal by the government improving its fiscal goals.

The JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus (EMBI+), which measures the perceived likelihood of defaults against U.S. Treasuries, showed spreads lowered over Treasuries, indicating a rise in market confidence in Argentina’s ability to payback its debt obligations.

“Important progress is being made toward strengthening Argentina’s economic policy plan, supported by a stand-by arrangement with the IMF. We are working hard to conclude these staff-level talks in short order and present a proposal to the IMF executive board,” the IMF said in a statement.

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Macri will include export tax hikes along with proposed budget cuts in an attempt to achieve his zero deficit target.

"A big component of the proposal will be tax increases concentrated on the export sector,” economist Gustavo Ber said told Reuters. “This can be advantageous from the point of view of generating a financial calm that is the tip of generating a greater expectation of economic recovery, which is where social pressures come from."

For more information on the developing economies, visit our emerging markets category.