* European regulators approve bond swap offer
* Swap set to launch in Italy on Monday, source says
* Green light from regulators was last hurdle to launch
ROME/BRUSSELS, April 27 European financial
regulators on Tuesday approved the outlines of an Argentine
swap offer on up to $20 billion in defaulted bonds, putting the
South American country a step closer to launching the
Argentina aims to return to international debt markets by
striking a deal with "holdout" creditors who rejected a tough
2005 restructuring of nearly $100 billion in defaulted debt.
Officials unveiled the terms of the proposed swap on April
15. But they needed final regulatory approval before they can
launch it simultaneously in Japan, Italy, Luxembourg and the
United States. For details see [ID:nN15228018].
Luxembourg's stock exchange said on Tuesday it had approved
the operation, and a source in Rome said Italy's Consob
securities regulator had also given its approval and that the
swap would launch there on Monday.
Creditors will have until June 7 to participate in the
exchange, although the deadline could be extended, according to
the prospectus published on the Luxembourg stock exchange's
website on Tuesday.
Argentina hopes to get at least 60 percent of creditors to
tender their defaulted paper for new securities and, in the
case of retail investors, a limited cash payout.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei in Rome and Philip Blenkinsop
in Brussels; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Dan Grebler)