Argentina extends debt talks until August 4

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – Argentina presented a new offer to restructure its debt yesterday and has extended its deadline for creditors to agree until August 4, the Economy Ministry announced on Sunday.

President Alberto Fernandez’s administration “will extend the expiration of the invitation (offer) until 5pm in New York City” on that day, the ministry said in a statement. The president had earlier stated the deadline would be pushed back to the end of August, saying “it is an enormous effort we are making. It’s the maximum effort we can make”.

The date for concluding negotiations with bondholders had previously been set at July 24 but was moved back in an effort to reach an agreement to restructure USD66 billion in bonds issued under foreign law.

The bonds represent roughly a fifth of the country’s USD324 billion debt, which amounts to around 90 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

A government source told AFP the new proposal would be for “close to USD53” for every USD100, compared to the original offer of USD39 per USD100, which was rejected by a majority of the bondholders.

The ministry said it would also send Congress a bill in the coming days to restructure local debt in dollars “on equitable terms” to the bond swap under foreign law.

Fernandez said the conversations with creditors “are going well” and expressed hope “they end well”.