Argentina secures $740 million in loans from development bank

Argentina secures $740 million in loans from development bank

(Expands details of loans, updates figures)

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa signed an agreement with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) for six loans worth $740 million on Friday, the Economy Ministry said in a statement, as Argentina tries to reverse a severe fiscal deficit and foreign currency shortage.

The loans' amount surpassed the $665 million figure initially reported in the official gazette early Friday.

The ministry said the credits would "encourage exports, promote sustainable development, improve road and educational infrastructure, guarantee food security, and expand water and sanitation services in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area."

Among the projects receiving funding is a $340 million plan to expand and improve access to water and sanitation services that will guarantee drinking water to 1.3 million people.

Another $100 million will go toward an anti-hunger plan that the ministry said would benefit more than 2.4 million Argentines.

The ministry said the remaining $300 million will be split between funding the fight against climate change, the recovery and development of agricultural exports, and improvements in school infrastructure and roads.

The Caracas-based CAF, as the bank is known for its initials in Spanish, was founded in 1970 and has member countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.
Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Hernan Nessi; Editing by Paul Simao and Leslie Adler