Will Argentina gvt get foreign reserves?

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is fighting to tap billions of dollars in foreign reserves to pay debt. The plan has led to the resignation of a central bank president and sparked legal challenges from opposition lawmakers. Fernandez wants to transfer around $6.6 billion from the country’s foreign reserves — currently just below $48 billion — to a fund to make debt payments coming due this year. Fernandez’s critics say she is seeking the funds to increase public spending and shore up her beleaguered government ahead of next year’s presidential elections. The following are possible scenarios on the outcome of the reserves fund, including the impact on government finances and Argentine securities prices. Fernandez used a presidential decree to create the fund and needs the approval of one chamber of Congress to move forward with it. [Read the full article]

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Monday repeated her accusations that President-elect Viktor Yanukovich won his election with lies and vowed not to sign any coalition agreements with him. She predicted he would not stay in power for long and accused him of beginning the process of privatisation of the gas pipeline network — a sensitive issue because it transports much of natural gas from Russia to Europe. “Yanukovich, who came to power by lies, is not our president and he will not last long,” she told a televised broadcast. [Read the full article]

* WHAT: Colombian central bank rate decision * WHEN: Friday, Feb. 26 REUTERS FORECAST: Poll found all 42 analysts surveyed forecast the bank will keep its rate stable at 3.5 percent. The majority of the analysts also forecast the bank will keep that rate unchanged through at least June. One third of the analysts forecast the bank’s benchmark rate would end the year at 4.5 percent while 17 percent of those surveyed forecast a close of 4 percent. Another 12 percent estimated the rate would end 2010 at 3.5 percent. FACTORS TO WATCH: Friday’s decision will most likely be to keep the rate unchanged as the factors in its last three decisions remain the same. But the bank could give a more positive outlook and give indications on when it could start to bring rates up. Inflation is still under control and Colombia’s economy is starting to see moderate recovery. Recovering demand and inflationary expectations rising on the economic growth will be signs the bank could change its policy. [Read the full article]

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday a staff member was in Athens this week at the request of the European Union Commission to provide assistance as Greece grapples with debt troubles. “At the request of the EU Commission and at the invitation of the Greek authorities, a Fund staff member is in Athens this week to provide assistance to a EU Commission team,” an IMF spokesperson said. PHILADELPHIA/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Laboratory equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc has offered $6 billion to buy Millipore Corp, according to a person familiar with the situation, in a deal that would increase its presence in the manufacture of biotech drugs. [Read the full article]

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