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ECONOMY | 03-05-2020 16:45

Government claims support for debt swap offer is growing

Economy Minister Martín Guzmán says he has noticed a "growing understanding" among bondholders and that investors have "expressed support" for debt restructuring deal.

Economy Minister Martín Guzmán says support for Argentina’s debt swap offer is growing, despite most analysts expecting the offer to be rejected when its deadline expires this Friday.

In a flurry of media activity over the weekend, President Alberto Fernández’s point man on the debt restructuring issue once again pitched Argentina’s offer as the best possible and asked for cooperation from creditors.

In an interview with local daily Clarín, Guzmán claimed support for the offer on the table – which includes a three-year grace period on payments, a 62 percent reduction on interest (totalling US$37.9 billion) and a 5.4 percent cut on the principal (worth US$3.6 billion) – was growing.

"We noticed this week a growing understanding and, as I say, there were specific cases of support for the offer. We consider that the process during these past few days has been positive, that it is still lacking and that dialogue will continue," he told the newspaper.

"There is a group that has expressed support, in particular local investors who have already contacted us. There are others with whom we continue to dialogue and seek to accompany them. We continue to work but this requires the cooperation of creditors," said Guzmán.

The minister said that the two sides had to work together to reach an agreement that the country could fulfill. It must be sustainable for Argentina, he warned.

Guzmán moved on to reject allegations that the country wasn’t operating in “good faith” and that it was undercutting its ability to pay.

"If so, the bondholders should demonstrate it,” he responded. “We have released our debt sustainability analysis and it is aligned with that of the International Monetary Fund.”

He said bondholders should take the deal. “The evidence is overwhelming: countries that propose something based on goals they can’t met worsen."

Asked about what would happen if the deal were rejected, he said that “Argentina will continue working as long as necessary to restore the sustainability of the public debt."

 

– TIMES/AFP

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