March 22, 2016 / 2:10 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 4-Argentina names banks for bond offer

(Adds details on bank lineup)

By Davide Scigliuzzo and Joy Wiltermuth

NEW YORK, March 22 (IFR) - Argentina has hired seven banks to manage its upcoming international bond sale, its first in over 15 years, sources familiar with the matter told IFR on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Santander were awarded the top role of global coordinators for the bond sale, while BBVA, Citigroup, and UBS will join as bookrunners, one of the sources said.

All seven banks participated in a US$5bn one-year loan in January to help the government of newly elected President Mauricio Macri bolster foreign reserves.

The timing and currency of the bond offering are not yet certain, but the deal is expected to come to market before an April 14 deadline set in the agreement between holdouts and the government.

Expectations of a deal have been building since Argentina sealed an agreement with major holdout creditors three weeks ago.

Barring any objections from Congress, the South American country could try to issue around US$12bn of bonds in April in an effort to pay litigant investors and service past due interest on its restructured bonds.

“That’s the million dollar question,” said Sean Newman, a senior portfolio manager at Invesco Fixed Income who oversees emerging market and government bonds.

“Ideally they’d like to get US$15bn,” Newman said. “But while Argentina stands in that bull’s eye of having the right story coming at a better time, it still has significant risks.”

Those include a sizeable budget deficit and worries about inflation, as well as US$11.68bn that the government has said it still needs to settle all outstanding debt payments.

Citigroup’s head of emerging markets Guillermo Mondino wrote this month that an Argentina bond sale could pay yields of 7.25% on a five-year, 8.4% on a 10-year and 9.7% on a 30-year.

Newman said yields of around 8% for a 10-year would be realistic.

Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo and Joy Wiltermuth; Writing by Natalie Harrison; Editing by Jack Doran and Paul Kilby

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