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UPDATE 2-Suriname extends deadline for creditors to accept bond payment deferral

(Adds deadline expiry; paragraph 4)

PARAMARIBO/NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Suriname extended a deadline on Wednesday by more than a week for creditors to respond to a proposal to defer some payments on two bonds due in 2023 and 2026, the government said in a statement.

It sweetened the deal by offering to pay interest on the deferred interest payments. This month, the South American nation had asked creditors to defer payments on the bonds, with a total outstanding principal of $675 million.

A “staff-level” pact with the International Monetary Fund before March 24 would buy Suriname extra time to make its payments to creditors, according to the offer.

A 30-day grace period for payments due last month expired on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Armand Achaibersing said Suriname was in advanced talks with the IMF, but gave no details.

Last week, the IMF said Suriname had asked for “financial assistance”, adding that it was holding “constructive and close dialogue” with its officials.

Suriname’s 2023 bond last traded just over 53 cents on the dollar and the 2026 issue near 52 cents.

Last week, a committee of creditors, which includes Franklin Templeton, Eaton Vance Corp, GMO Research Inc and Greylock Capital, said it would be willing to discuss a payment deferral as long as Suriname allowed enough time for talks. (Reporting by Ank Kuipers and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Tom Brown and Clarence Fernandez)

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