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Argentina tax authority lifts asset freeze on Banco Finansur to facilitate sale

Argentine tax authority AFIP will allow the lifting of an asset freeze on troubled lender Banco Finansur SA in order to facilitate the bank's sale, El Cronista reported.

Regulators had restricted the assets and liabilities of the bank following a tax evasion investigation into one of its owners, Cristóbal López.

Banco Central de la República Argentina is now looking to expedite the sale of Banco Finansur before March 9 and made a special request to AFIP for the lifting of the asset freeze which will reportedly allow another financial institution to absorb its assets and liabilities.

March 9 is the deadline for the suspension of the financial entity, which the central bank has imposed since November 2017 after the bank failed to meet an agreed-upon deadline for its recapitalization plan. If Banco Finansur does not attract a buyer, the central bank will separate the bank's assets and liabilities, leaving a "residual bank" for the collection of contingent liabilities.

So far, Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA is the only one interested in buying Banco Finansur, after submitting a nonbinding offer in January.