South America

Airlines are on course to lose a total $157 billion this year and next, their main global body warned on Tuesday, further downgrading its industry outlook in response to a second wave of coronavirus infections and shutdowns afflicting major markets, Reuters reported. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which in June had forecast $100 billion in losses for the two-year period, said it now projects a $118.5 billion deficit this year alone, and a further $38.7 billion for 2021.

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The trio of coronavirus vaccines racing toward approval may reach the masses too late to prevent another round of airline failures, Bloomberg News reported. With last week’s insolvency filing at Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, some 42 airlines worldwide have failed or entered administration this year, according to research from consultant IBA Group. The tally may surpass 70 through March, as rising cases weigh on revenue and carriers struggle to secure fresh funding. “The fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year could be equally terrible,” IBA’s Stuart Hatcher said in an interview.

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Suriname’s government has asked creditors for a payment deferral on its two bonds, which total $675 million in size, in what analysts said could be a prelude to a broader debt restructuring, Reuters reported. The government of the South American nation announced the launch of a consent solicitation for its two bonds, due in 2023 and 2026, in a statement on Saturday. The consent solicitation expires on Nov. 23. The move had been expected after Suriname said late last month that it wanted to make use of a 30-day grace period on its dollar-bond coupon payments due on Oct.

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Argentina’s Chubut Province said on Saturday it had struck a debt deal in principle with a majority of its creditors after a successful sovereign debt restructuring earlier this year opened the door for local governments to resolve their regional crises, Reuters reported. Chubut and its bondholders will restructure $680 million in bonds originally set to mature in 2026, exchanging them for bonds due in July 2030, the province said in a statement.

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Argentina hiked interest rates on Thursday after monthly inflation accelerated to the highest level this year, a move aimed at bolstering peso savings and reining in prices amid a wider economic crisis, Reuters reported. The central bank raised the benchmark Leliq rate to 38% from 36% previously after the country’s statistics agency had revealed October inflation speeding up to 3.8% and rolling 12-month inflation had been clocked at 37.2% in the month. The central bank also raised overnight and 7-day reverse repo rates.

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Avianca Holdings said on Thursday it has won the support of a large number of institutional investors and existing lenders, meaning it will no longer need the Colombian government’s participation as part of its restructuring process, Reuters reported. Avianca, Latin America’s second-largest airline, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York in May. A U.S. bankruptcy court approved a proposed financing plan of over $2 billion to help the carrier exit Chapter 11 restructuring in October. The airline was expecting $370 million in credit from the Colombian government.

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Argentina’s international creditors, scarred by this year’s turbulent debt restructuring, want the new International Monetary Fund programme the country is seeking to come with ultra-rigorous conditions, Reuters reported. Argentina and its provinces restructured $100 billion of debt two months ago, but the country’s bonds have lost nearly 30% since their relaunch as worries about the government’s economic strategy have persisted. On Monday Economy Minister Martin Guzman, who led the restructuring for Latin America’s No.

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Argentina will seek an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to replace a failed $57 billion facility, Economy Minister Guzman said on Monday, potentially buying the South American country more time to make repayments, Reuters reported. The EFF is a longer-term program that typically requires more economic reforms than a standby agreement. Argentina would expect to repay the IMF between four and a half years and 10 years after the start of the agreement, Guzman said, adding that he aimed to secure a new deal by April.

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A mission from the International Monetary Fund will visit Argentina from Nov. 10 to begin formal negotiations for a new financing program, an IMF spokesman said on Friday, Reuters reported. Dialogue between the mission and Argentina will focus on the government’s fiscal agenda in the medium term “with the aim of anchoring macroeconomic stability and laying the foundations for inclusive and sustainable growth,” the spokesman said in a statement, adding that there is no set date for negotiations to conclude.

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Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, said on Friday it was selling its retail operations in Argentina to South American supermarket chain owner Grupo de Narváez, pulling back as the country grapples with an economic crisis, Reuters reported. The U.S. company did not disclose the size of the deal for retail operations involving more than 90 stores, but said it would record about a $1 billion after-tax, non-cash loss related to the divestiture in its fiscal third quarter next year.

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