Bloomberg

Argentina is running dangerously low on dollars to pay back debt

But the dire foreign reserves situation indicates the default could come sooner than some expect, perhaps shortly after President-elect Alberto Fernandez takes office in December. Foto: AP/Gustavo Garello

Argentina must repay $5 billion by the end of 2019. It doesn't have much to work with.

While the country's foreign reserves total a still somewhat robust $43 billion, that figure shrinks markedly once untouchable assets such as dollar deposits of everyday Argentines and a credit line from China are stripped out. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News estimate that the amount that policy makers can actually freely spend is no more than $12.5 billion. One of the analysts, Siobhan Morden of Amherst Pierpont Securities, puts the figure at as little as $6.5 billion...

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