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ECONOMY | 10-05-2020 09:11

Government extends offer to restructure debt until Monday

"The possibility of extending the offer continues until Monday, May 11. When this term expires, we will define the steps to be followed," President Fernández tweeted Saturday.

Argentina remains open to negotiation with its international creditors and has extended its offer to restructure its debt until Monday, President Alberto Fernández has said.

Buenos Aires has been deadlocked with creditors over its US$65-billion debt, with the three main bondholder groups rejecting a government restructuring proposal that expired on Friday.

"The possibility of extending the offer continues until Monday, May 11. When this term expires, we will define the steps to be followed," Fernández tweeted Saturday.

"We continue our dialogue with creditors in good faith, with the aim of reaching a sustainable agreement," he said.

"As always, our goal is to make commitments that we can meet," he added.

A 30-day grace period for a US$500-million bond payment that Argentina already missed expires on May 22.

Economy Minister Martín Guzmán has taken an aggressive stance on debt, partly driven by a need to free up resources to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday he reiterated Friday's message that Argentina was still negotiating, and thanked creditors who supported the proposal.

Buenos Aires' offer to its creditors includes a 62 percent discount on interest ($ 37.9 billion) and 5.4 percent on capital (US$3.6 billion). The country is also requesting a three-year moratorium, which would imply no payments until 2023.

Failure to pay would mean a default, a near doomsday scenario for the cash-strapped country that would prevent the government from seeking credit from financial markets.

Argentina – in recession for two years– has also been in lockdown since March 20, further damaging its already battered economy.

– TIMES/AFP

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