Peru’s finance minister to leave this week

Peru's Minister Mercedes Araoz will be replaced in a cabinet shuffle this week, three sources in the ruling party and close to the government have unveiled.

One of the sources said Ismael Benavides, who once led one of Peru's largest , will be the new finance minister and that a swearing in ceremony was slated for Thursday.

“It's going to be Thursday at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT),” the source said.

“We know that Mercedes Araoz will leave no matter what,” said another source.

Benavides, who also previously served as agriculture minister under President Alan Garcia, declined to comment.

A cabinet shuffle is widely expected so that some ministers, including Prime Minister Javier Velasquez, can step down to run in regional elections in October.

Araoz has downplayed talk of her own departure and one of her aides denied on Tuesday that she would leave.

But leaders of Garcia's APRA party have mentioned her as desirable candidate to have run on their ticket. Though she is not currently affiliated with any party, she is seen as having political ambitions.

Peru's economy is one of the most dynamic in the world at the moment and should expand about seven percent this year. The economy grew 11.92 percent in June from the same month a year ago, official data shows.

Despite the swift growth, Araoz and the central bank's monetary policy director were recently ensnared in a policy rift over the pace of spending by her ministry and whether it was contributing to inflation.

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