Argentina Treasury minister resigns

Nicolas Dujovne

BUENOS AIRES — The economy minister for the province of Buenos Aires is set to become Argentina's treasury minister following the resignation of Nicolas Dujovne, government sources told EFE on Saturday.

The move comes after Dujovne presented his resignation in a letter to President Mauricio Macri following a financial crisis in the Argentinian market last week — an adverse reaction from investors to the ruling party's defeat in the presidential primaries on Aug. 11.

Dujovne believed the government needed "significant renewal” in its economic team amid a crisis which saw the peso plunge this week.

Dujovne said in a letter to Argentine President Mauricio Macri that he had given his "all” to the job, helped tame a significant deficit and trim public spending.

"We have made mistakes as well, without a doubt, we never hesitate to recognize that and did all that was possible to correct them,” he added.

"I believe my resignation is in keeping with my place in a government... that listens to the people and acts accordingly,” he added.

Macri has appointed Hernan Lacunza, the current economy minister for Buenos Aires province, as Dujovne´s replacement, a government source told Reuters.

Argentina´s peso was in free-fall for most of this week after a shock primary election result on Sunday, when centre-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez trounced centre-right Macri, in what was widely seen as a referendum on the government's seeking of a loan from the International Monetary Fund and austerity measures it took as a condition for the loan.

The peso depreciated 21% by the end of the week and on Friday, in a fresh blow to Macri, ratings agencies Fitch and S&P downgraded Argentina´s sovereign debt rating, raising the specter of a default as the October election approaches.

Lacunza is the former general manager of Argentina´s Central Bank and also of the Buenos Aires City Bank. — Agencies