Buenos Aires renews creditor talks in ‘last round’ push for $7 billion debt deal

FILE PHOTO: A man reads a newspaper as he walks in Buenos Aires' financial district
FILE PHOTO: A man reads a newspaper as he walks in Buenos Aires' financial district, Argentina, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

July 5, 2021

By Walter Bianchi

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s Buenos Aires province has extended the deadline for a $7 billion debt restructuring deal and agreed to renew a “last round” of talks with creditors after more than a year of fraught negotiations.

The province, the South American country’s wealthiest, said it would push the much-delayed deadline until July 23 for its foreign creditors to respond to its proposals after the previous cut-off passed last week without a deal.

The local government added in a statement that some of its bondholders, including members of the important Ad Hoc creditor committee, had agreed to enter once more into non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to pursue talks.

“The province has extended the deadline of the invitation to engage in conversations with such bondholders,” it said.

A government source close to the talks said the province had opened a “last round” of negotiations with creditors to reach an “agreement that grants sustainability to the debt in the short, medium and long term, before formally amending the invitation”.

The person added the formal talks came after a period of “tense conversations” between the two sides and cited actions by the provincial finance minister Pablo López in recent days helping to get the two sides back to the table formally.

“This would allow a definitive solution to be reached,” the person said.

The winding talks, while the national government and other provinces have struck deals, have sparked tensions with creditors, who earlier this year filed a lawsuit against what they called a “continued default” by the provincial government.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Nick Macfie)