Argentina returns to global debt markets with sale of $ 16.5 billion bonds

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Argentina returned to the bond market on Tuesday with the largest sell-off of emerging market debt on record, drawing strong investor interest after years as a financial outcast.

The global debt supply of $ 16.5 billion was more than double the previous highs of developing country governments, according to Dealogic.

The demand for the South American country’s debt was so strong that Argentina was able to both increase the initial size of the operation while reducing the returns offered to investors. Underwriters of the deal received nearly $ 70 billion in orders for the bonds, more than four times the value of the debt, people familiar with the matter said.

The giant bond offer is a milestone for Argentina, which defaulted on more than $ 80 billion in sovereign debt in 2001, the government’s biggest default at the time. Argentinian officials engaged in years of public struggle with bondholders, with a former president calling some creditors “vultures”.

“We are finally at the end of the era of default in Argentina,” said Robert Koenigsberger, founder of Gramercy Funds Management LLC which helped negotiate a restructuring of Argentina’s bonds in 2009 and bought part of the new debt. “We are happy to see that the resolution has arrived and that everyone can move on. “



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