Argentina´s Chubut Province strikes debt deal with creditors

FILE PHOTO: A man waves an Argentine national flag in Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s Chubut Province said on Saturday it had struck a debt deal in principle with a majority of its creditors after a successful sovereign debt restructuring earlier this year opened the door for local governments to resolve their regional crises.

Chubut and its bondholders will restructure $680 million in bonds originally set to mature in 2026, exchanging them for bonds due in July 2030, the province said in a statement.

The agreement, yet to be finalized, features bonds backed by provincial oil and gas royalties derived from operations throughout the southern province in the Patagonia region.

The province will require the consent at least 75% of bondholders to agree to the deal in order to make it stick.

The Chubut government said in a statement the agreement, if approved, would provide “significant relief in debt service during 2021, 2022 and 2023.”

Argentina’s provinces from Buenos Aires to wine region Mendoza are readying to revamp a combined $13 billion in debt.

The South American country’s government restructured almost $110 billion in dollar debt earlier this year, dragging itself out of default, a major victory after a standoff with creditors had threatened to scupper a deal.

Reporting by Lucila Sigal; writing by Dave Sherwood; editing by Jonathan Oatis