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Finance group urges 'early' talks between Argentina's new government, creditors

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's incoming economy minister, Martin Guzman, reacts before Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez announces his cabinet ahead of taking office on December 10, in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentina’s incoming Economy Minister Martin Guzman should meet as soon as possible with the country’s private sector creditors amid fraught talks over restructuring, the head of a global financial service group said on Monday.

Institute of International Finance CEO Timothy Adams wrote in a letter seen by Reuters that early negotiations were “particularly important in facilitating an effective voluntary debt restructuring agreement.”

The IIF, which has 450 members globally, represents many but not all of Argentina’s bondholders.

Argentina’s new government, which takes office on Tuesday, is bracing for negotiations with creditors including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure around $100 billion in debt after a sharp market crash earlier this year.

Guzman, a young economist with close ties to American economist Joseph Stiglitz, has extensive academic background in debt restructuring but little policy-making experience.

Argentina’s century bond traded above 42 cents for the first time in two weeks on Monday while its January 2023 issue rose above 43 cents for the first time since Oct. 25, according to MarketAxess data.

The incoming cabinet, including Guzman, was announced by President-elect Alberto Fernandez late on Friday.

Argentina’s dollar-denominated debt tumbled in price after Fernandez pummeled center-right incumbent President Mauricio Macri in an August election. Fernandez was officially elected in late October.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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