Argentina returns to the global bond market for the first time since 2001
Argentina, Latin America’s third biggest economy, has now ended 15 years of financial isolation and has received orders of $67 billion for a sovereign bond issue totalling $15 billion. This is one of the largest ever order books seen for an emerging markets bond, exceeding the $50 billion book for Brazilian oil firm Petrobras’ debt in 2013.
Some of the money will go to repaying bondholders who for years opposed the terms of Argentina’s debt restructuring after the default 15 years ago. Settling the country’s debt default was one of the main campaign promises made by President Mauricio Macri, who came to power in December 2015.
It set guidance of 7.5% to 7.6% on the 10-year tranche – the centrepiece of the offering. At the short end of the curve, guidance on the three-year tranche was set at 6.2% to 6.50%, and on the five-year at 6.8% to 7.1%.
Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Santander are acting as global coordinators on the bond sale, while BBVA, Citigroup and UBS are joint bookrunners.
The IMF forecasts that Argentina’s economy will contract by 1% this year and grow by 2.8% in 2017.
Key to paving the way for the bond launch was agreeing a deal with creditors who fought a lengthy legal battle with Argentina after refusing the terms of a previous restructuring.
Credit rating agency Moody’s raised Argentina’s sovereign rating on Friday ahead of the bond sale. The country still ranks as a speculative investment with a “high credit risk”.