Exclusive-IMF board approves $45 billion Argentina program -sources

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FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund logo is seen inside its headquarters at the end of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington

By Jorgelina do Rosario

NEW YORK/LONDON – The International Monetary Fund’s executive board on Friday approved a $45 billion program for Argentina after more than a year of negotiations, two sources with direct knowledge said, allowing the South American grains exporter to avoid a costly default with the Washington-based lender.

The agreement, which follows a staff-level agreement earlier in March, marks the 22nd IMF program for Argentina since it joined the Fund in 1956. It replaces a failed $57 billion program from 2018, the largest in the Fund’s history, for which Argentina still owes over $40 billion.

(Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chris Reese)