Argentina plans $9.4 bln local debt swap to ease year-end payment crunch


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BUENOS AIRES — Argentina said on Tuesday it would launch a voluntary debt swap for some 1.5 trillion Argentine pesos ($9.4 billion) of payments coming due as it looks to ease a year-end repayment crunch and extend maturities to 2023.

The country’s economy ministry said in a statement it would swap out some 700 billion pesos of debt due in November and 800 billion pesos due in December, in exchange for bonds maturing over June, July and September of 2023.

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“This conversion operation seeks to extend the maturities of the Treasury’s peso debt profile,” the ministry said in the statement.

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Market analysts had expected the announcement given the severe economic slump hitting the South American country, fueled by sky-high inflation estimated to hit 100% this year.

Argentina had in August performed another voluntary debt swap for some 2 trillion pesos ($15 billion) for bonds maturing before November.

The economy ministry said the new offer would be open on Nov. 10 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time (1300-1800 GMT) and be settled on Nov. 15.

Ledes, Lecer and dollar-linked Boncer bonds are eligible for the swap, it said, adding it would issue three dual-currency bond options with varying maturities in 2023. ($1 = 159.7100 Argentine pesos) (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires Writing by Sarah Morland Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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