Argentina approves revised debt offer, set for SEC filing

BUENOS AIRES (CNA) – The Argentine government formalised its amended bond restructuring offer on Saturday night, confirming in a presidential decree that it would submit the new deal to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today.

The decree outlined how the government had approved a second round of amendments to its initial offer made back in April, an important step to clinch a deal.

Argentina and its main creditor groups reached an agreement in principle on August 4 to restructure about USD65 billion in distressed sovereign bonds after months of talks, breaking an impasse that had threatened to derail negotiations.

In a separate statement the government said that it would make the filing to the SEC today, aiming to “bring public finances into balance, give certainty to the private sector and provide the country with a new platform for growth”. It added the proposal reflected the financial terms of the August 4 agreement and dialogue with creditors, the International Monetary Fund and other international bodies on legal elements.

“The work carried out made it possible to reach consensus on adjustments to (the) model contractual framework adopted by the international community aimed at facilitating the creation of the will that forms the basis of any successful restructuring,” it said.

The government did not give a new deadline for creditors to accept its offer, though it is likely to have to push the current August 24 cut-off to give bondholders a 10-day window after the formal SEC filing.

With an already weak economy further punished by the coronavirus, the government wants to avoid the kind of messy sovereign bond default that punctuated a crisis in 2001 that tossed millions of middle class Argentines into poverty.

A pedestrian walks past posters on the street that read ‘No to the payment of the debt. Break with the IMF,’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PHOTO: CNA