Bonds News

Argentina's largest province to restructure $7 bln debt after long negotiation

NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Argentina’s largest province is set on Friday to wrap up its $7 billion restructuring of foreign currency bonds after more than 16 months of negotiations.

The Buenos Aires province said it expected holders of at least 90% of the outstanding amount will have agreed to trade in their bonds for the exchange by a noon deadline (1500 GMT) on Friday in Argentina.

“Assuming no withdrawals prior to the expiration time,” the province said in a statement on Wednesday, enough creditors will have tendered their bonds to meet a key offering condition.

The bond prices bottomed this year around mid-March, falling to the low thirties and even into 20-cent-on-the-dollar-territory.

Since then they have staged a rally, with the February 2023 bond up near 70% in price by Thursday’s close.

The province had been confident of reaching a deal since late July, when it said its largest creditor, GoldenTree Asset Management, had agreed to what were then the most recent revised terms.

But some of the largest group of bondholders criticized what they called “extensive use of deeply coercive elements in the deal structure”, calling the province’s negotiation “deeply flawed”, adding that it did not “represent a good-faith negotiation.”

Buenos Aires province said it did not intend to extend the expiry date, having done so nearly 20 times since the first deal was offered in April 2020.

The national government restructured more than $100 billion in foreign currency debt last year following its ninth sovereign default, and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund to revamp $45 billion in payments.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Clarence Fernandez