Argentina, final tightening with funds to avoid the ninth default


We are one step away from the agreement. But it takes more time. The Argentine government still needs to negotiate, it wants to file a few half points on the interest rate on the debt. Because beyond the technical default already declared last month, in these hours of talk only of interest and not of the sovereign debt of 68 billion dollars that exposes the Casa Rosada to a true default, the ninth in its history. After the postponement of May 8th and a new extension granted on the 22nd of May, the Argentine plenipotentiary Minister of Economy Martín Guzmán asked for a third postponement of the deadline to the authorities of the New York Stock Exchange explaining that the parties are very close to an agreement. There is much more at stake than debt. The values ​​of the vouchers issued by Argentina have a long and very long-term maturity (even one hundred years); annuities are the deciding factor. Two of the three groups of creditors, among which the powerful BlackRock stands out, offer an average interest of 4.2 per cent as the last offer, while the Argentine government is not willing to exceed 3. The difference between the offers of the creditors and the the government’s proposal is therefore 6 billion: too small to speak of restructuring.
Sources internal to the negotiation, taken from El Pais and confirmed by Wall Street Journal, argue that it is impossible to meet the deadline set for June 3 and that it is very likely, given the small margin of the two proposals, that it will go on to the bitter end. Last week, Minister Guzmán had put on the table a solution that envisaged reducing the so-called grace period from three to two years (a period in which Argentina pays neither capital nor interest) and slightly cut the main share by 4 billion while raised the initial mailing income by 2.3 percent.Two of the three groups agreed generally but on one condition: that in order to offset the two years without payments, an extraordinary long-term debt would be issued.

After all, none of the protagonists are interested in a crack, he notes El Pais. Nor to Argentina that cannot remain in the limbo of a technical default that would prevent it from accessing new essential loans in this moment of full pandemic from Covid 19; nor to creditors who, from a judgment of a New York court or from a better offer from the Argentine government, would get only a worsening of the conditions compared to those now on the table. But there is one more factor that pushes for an agreement. It is the risk of a new closure to external credit that would devalue the weight and push the race towards the purchase of dollars.

Last week the Argentine Central Bank tightened control over exchange rates, known as “cepo”, warning the importing and exporting companies. Only once the agreement with the external debt has been reached will a negotiation be started for the internal one and with the International Monetary Fund which in 2018 granted the most important loan in its history: 57 billion dollars.

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