January 12, 2017 / 10:15 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Argentina unveils 2017 debt plan, bond sales seen next week

(Adds details of road show, quote from finance minister, context)

By Luc Cohen

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Argentina clinched an 18-month financing deal worth $6 billion with six banks on Thursday, Finance Minister Luis Caputo told reporters, saying the government planned to tap international capital markets for $10 billion in 2017.

Sovereign bond issuance will start on Jan. 19, with a sale of $3 billion to $5 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated paper.

The sale will kick off an international financing program under which Argentina expects to sell $7 billion of dollar bonds and $3 billion of bonds in other currencies, Caputo told a news conference. He did not discuss specifics about bond maturities or interest rates.

Argentina also plans nearly $4 billion in multilateral borrowing from institutions including the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.

“It’s very positive news for us,” Caputo said of the bank financing agreement, which he added would be backed by the country’s Bonar 24 bonds. The repo deal was priced at three month Libor plus 290 basis points.

The six banks chosen for the repo deal and dollar bond sale were Santander, BBVA, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JP Morgan.

Argentina also plans on Jan. 19 to sell $1 billion to $2 billion equivalent of peso-denominated debt subject to local law, Caputo said. The sale will be part of a program in which the government plans to issue $14 billion equivalent of peso-denominated obligations in 2017.

He will start a three-day road show on Monday in London, followed by meetings with investors in Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

“Sustainability is far from being a problem,” Caputo said referring to Argentina’s ability to repay, in a preview of his sales pitch to prospective bond buyers.

He took office this year after President Mauricio Macri fired former Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay.

Macri split the ministry into a finance ministry led by Caputo responsible for sovereign debt management, and a treasury ministry led by economist Nicolas Dujovne responsible for fiscal policy. Caputo had been finance secretary under Prat-Gay.

Argentina’s central bank kept its policy rate unchanged at 24.75 percent on Tuesday. Inflation last year was about 40 percent with the economy in recession. Growth is expected to resume this year and the bank has an inflation target of 12 to 17 percent, though economists expect it to exceed 20 percent. (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Peter Cooney and Phil Berlowitz)

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