July 8, 2020 / 7:46 PM / a month ago

Argentina's Guzman says 'clearly' no room to improve debt revamp offer

FILE PHOTO: Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman reacts during an interview with Reuters, in Buenos Aires, Argentina March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina has no room to improve its latest debt restructuring offer to creditors, Economy Minister Martin Guzman told Reuters on Wednesday, as the country looks to win bondholders over to a deal and avert a messy default and legal standoff.

The South American grains producer unveiled what it said was its “final” offer on Sunday to revamp around $65 billion in foreign debt, which drew initial support from some creditors and has helped pump up sovereign bond prices so far this week.

“We made our maximum effort,” Guzman told Reuters and one other media organization in an interview at his offices in Buenos Aires, adding there was “clearly not” any room for amending the offer further.

Despite signals of support for the offer from some quarters, other key bondholder groups, who combined hold significant portions of the eligible debt, have so far held off from backing or rejecting the deal.

That includes the Ad Hoc bondholder group, made up of names like BlackRock and Fidelity, which had criticized the government after negotiations stalled in mid-June.

The government’s latest offer, which improved payment terms and ceded ground on disputed legal terms, was made without having previously reached an accord with the group.

“With the Ad Hoc group we did not reach an agreement before we launched the offer,” Guzman said, adding that the government “have not heard anything yet” from them.

“We assume that some creditors might take some time to nake their decision.”

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Adam Jourdan

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