Citi Sets Up $3.5 Billion Credit Line for Argentina Clients

  • Citigroup backs President Macri’s plan to revive growth
  • Bank sees sustained growth in Argentina, CEO Corbat says

Citigroup Inc. created a $3.5 billion line of credit for corporate and institutional clients in Argentina as President Mauricio Macri seeks the support of international companies to revive a moribund economy.

The New York-based bank supports Macri’s plan to bolster South America’s second-largest economy by extending credit, providing financing to the public sector and underwriting bonds in international capital markets for Argentine companies, Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbat said in an e-mailed statement. Corbat met Wednesday with Macri and Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay.

“We are committed to supporting the growth of Argentina and our clients in a country where we have had a presence for over 100 years,” Corbat said. “We expect sustained growth in the coming years and look forward to putting our global network to work on behalf of our institutional clients.”

Since taking office in December, Macri has traveled from France to the U.K. to Germany to to convince investors that Argentina is ready for investments after five years during which foreign direct investment all but disappeared. The government is hosting a three-day conference in September to lay out plans for as much as $160 billion in infrastructure projects.

Sentiment toward Argentina abroad has been buoyed by Macri’s early economic decisions, which included cutting subsidies for utilities and ending a 15-year holdout with holders of defaulted debt. The economy, though, entered a recession in the first quarter and inflation soared to nearly 50 percent.

Macri has promised that the economy will rebound next year and expand 3.5 percent, and that inflation will ease to near the government’s target of 1.5 per month early next year. Unions have threatened to demand new wage talks and strike if salary increases aren’t adjusted as price increases prove hard to tame.

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