Argentina launches $65 bln bond swap to push back 2024 debt

 – Argentina’s government will launch a huge voluntary debt swap on Monday of peso and some dollar-linked instruments set to mature in 2024, a bid to push back repayments amid a major economic crisis hammering the South American country.

The debt, which includes 15 different instruments with a total value pegged at around $65 billion, may be exchanged for new inflation-linked instruments with maturity dates ranging from 2025 to 2028, according to the government.

“The eligible securities in the hands of the public and private sector for the swap operation amount to some 55 trillion Argentine peso ($64.86 billion)” a government source said, adding around 70% of the maturities were in the hands of the public sector.

The government will open the auction process on Monday morning and will close it on Tuesday evening. Settlement of the offers received and awarded will take place on Friday.

Argentina’s new President, libertarian Javier Milei, is battling to restore economic stability with a tough austerity and cost-cutting drive, which has helped improve the fiscal balance but dampened growth and economic activity.

The grains producing country is also grappling with inflation running at over 250%, poverty that is climbing towards 60%, depleted central bank foreign currency reserves, and a myriad of currency controls to protect the embattled peso. – Reuters