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Argentina pushes to secure IMF deal in September

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Argentina pushes to secure IMF deal in September

Argentina hopes to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund for financial support in the second half of September, Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne said, Reuters reported Sept. 4.

Dujovne's comments followed his meeting with IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Washington to discuss ways to improve the $50 billion standby deal approved by the IMF's executive board in June.

The Argentine peso has been in a free fall since President Mauricio Macri's government asked the IMF on Aug. 29 to accelerate the release of funds from the standby deal in a bid to temper growing concerns about the country's financing capabilities. The peso stood at 38.9544 to the dollar as of Sept. 4.

"We made progress in our meeting and we will be working together to further strengthen the Argentine authorities' IMF-backed program," Lagarde said in a statement after the meeting. "Our discussions will now continue at a technical level and, as stated before, our common objective is to reach a rapid conclusion to present a proposal to the IMF Executive Board."

"We are trying to get it voted on by the board ... in the second half of September," Dujovne said after the meeting, but declined to give details on the proposal.