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Argentine treasury minister resigns after market turbulence, rating downgrades

Nicolás Dujovne resigned as Argentina's treasury minister Aug. 17, a day after two rating agencies downgraded the country further into junk territory over the market turmoil caused by President Mauricio Macri's defeat in primary elections held earlier that week.

Dujovne, who had served as treasury minister since January 2017, said in his resignation letter that Macri's management team needs "significant renewal in the economic area" and that his resignation is coherent with a government that "listens to the people and acts accordingly."

Macri said in a tweet that he named Hernán Lacunza to succeed Dujovne as treasury minister. Lacunza previously served as economy minister for Buenos Aires.

Argentine stocks and the peso have fallen since the Aug. 11 primary, which saw main opposition candidate Alberto Fernández secure a wider-than-expected lead over Macri in the runup to the main election in October. The benchmark Merval stock index closed 2.04% lower Aug. 16.

S&P Global Ratings downgraded Argentina's long-term credit ratings to B- from B, saying the market turbulence "has meaningfully weakened the sovereign's already vulnerable financial profile." Fitch Ratings also lowered Argentina's long- and short-term issuer default ratings to CCC/C from B/B, saying the market reaction to the primary vote results is weighing on the country's financing conditions and increases the prospects of a sovereign default.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.