March 19, 2020 / 10:34 PM / 13 days ago

Argentina swaps $4 billion in peso debt for later-maturing bonds: ministry

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s economy ministry said on Thursday it had exchanged around 257 billion pesos ($4 billion) in a debt swap for new instruments maturing between 2021-2024, as the government looks to restructure its debt amid a credit crunch.

The value of the new instruments totaled 304 billion pesos ($4.794 billion), the ministry said.

The auction, reported exclusively by Reuters on Wednesday, was part of Argentina’s broader drive to gain more time to make payments amid a widespread debt crisis that risks pushing the country into default.

Argentina has been focused on rolling over its local bonds though a series of debt swap auctions, but it faces a tougher challenge with its international debt. The country is racing to strike a deal with foreign creditors by the end of the month.

It is also in talks about revamping its borrowings from the International Monetary Fund, which extended a then $57 billion credit facility to the South American grains producer in 2018. It has so far disbursed around $44 billion.

Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Nicolas Misculin; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool

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