A technical delegation of the International Monetary Fund is expected to arrive in Argentina on February 11 to undertake the third review of the US$ 57 billion stand-by loan granted last year. The mission will have to verify the fulfillment of the monetary and fiscal goals as of December, as a condition to enable a new disbursement in March. Three more reviews are scheduled for 2019.
The delegation, led by Roberto Cardarelli, will meet with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, representatives of the private sector, academia and civil society. Although fractious negotiations are not anticipated, certain aspects of the monetary program could be reviewed, such as the dollar purchase policy or the functioning of the non-intervention exchange zone.
Among the commitments undertaken by the Argentine government for 2019 is the introduction of a bill to amend the Organic Charter of the Central Bank in order to guarantee operational autonomy, strengthen the monetary policy mandate, improve decision-making structures and strengthen transparency and accountability.
Meanwhile, on February 5, president Mauricio Macri appointed appointed Marcelo Castro to the board of the Central Bank through Decree No. 110/2019, in place of Pablo Curat. Between 2008 and 2013 Castro was Global CFO of Banco Santander’s Wholesale Banking and in 2014, global treasurer. He later served as CEO of Abbey National Treasury Services in the United Kingdom. The Central Bank Board still has two vacancies.