(Corrects reference to Cemex in graf 9)
By Will Caiger-Smith and Natalie Harrison
NEW YORK, March 9 (IFR) - The Province of Buenos Aires priced US$1.25bn of debt maturing in 2024 inside an initial price talk range on Wednesday, after investors placed US$3.7bn of orders.
The issuer agreed to upsize the deal from its initial size based on the strength of demand, and set final pricing at a yield of 9.375%, inside initial talk of mid to high 9%.
Over 230 investors bought the bonds, said a banker working on the transaction.
"It should perform well," said an investor following the deal, adding that the Argentine government's settlement with creditors in February would have broadened the deal's appeal.
Investors may have more Argentine debt to buy soon, with the City of Buenos Aires and the sovereign both planning a return to the market.
The deal's success reflected a positive tone towards Latin American credits on Wednesday, with Mexican cement company Cemex also upsizing and tightening its US$1bn 10-year non-call five deal.
That transaction represented the first dollar-denominated corporate bond out of Latin America so far this year.
"There's been a massive rally in the past three weeks," said a banker on Cemex's deal. "Guys are starting to take another hard look and say is this the right time to come."
Cemex launched its deal at 7.75%, inside IPTs of 8.375% area.
The bond offered a good chance to gain exposure to the credit at attractive levels, said CreditSights analysts Andrew Belton and Mariya Nurgaziyeva.
"The new bonds provide an opportunity to get back into the Cemex credit after a period when has been punished by the bond market for its emerging markets focus," they wrote.
The bond will finance the redemption of existing notes: the 9.875% US dollar-denominated 2019 issued by Cemex Espana, the 9.875% euro-denominated senior secured 2019 issued by Cemex Espana SA and/or the 9.5% senior secured notes due 2018 issued by Cemex. (Reporting by Will Caiger-Smith and Natalie Harrison; editing by Shankar Ramakrishnan)