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ECONOMY | 20-03-2020 18:37

Argentina pushes forward 311 billion pesos with latest swap

Alberto Fernández administration managed to swap a debt of 311 billion pesos, reducing short-term domestic obligations while renegotiating the foreign debt with creditors.

Argentina has managed to swap a debt of 311 billion pesos, reducing its short-term domestic obligations while renegotiating the foreign debt with creditors.

The government swapped Argentine Treasury bills for 284 billion pesos, including Lecaps, Lebads and discount bills.

The Economy Ministry also received bonds for 26.9 billion pesos that are adjusted according to the monetary policy rate, known in the country as "Bopom" and "Botapo". The debt was exchanged for four new inflation-linked Boncer bonds with annual maturity between 2021 and 2024.

Argentina faces an estimated national debt of 1.8 trillion pesos (US$29 billion) that expires this year, according to estimates by the Ministry of Economy. The country wants to renegotiate about US$70 billion in foreign debt with creditors.

The swap, the largest operation in local currency during the current administration, gives the government a breathing space for its upcoming peso maturities over the next three weeks, Finance Secretary Diego Bastourre told reporters in Buenos Aires.

When asked what bond holders who did not participate in the swap could expect in the future, Bastourre said that delaying maturities is not the way the country prefers to move forward.

A unilateral delay in payments of the so-called dual bond was a "unique" case, he added. In that situation, the government delayed them and said it would not be held hostage to investors who demand better conditions than those offered.

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by Scott Squires & Carolina Millan, Bloomberg

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