South America

Ecuador will extend the deadline for creditors to vote on its $17.4 billion debt restructuring plan to Monday following a lawsuit by a small group of bondholders, the finance ministry said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The South American nation originally said the vote would end on Friday, but pushed the deadline back at the request of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York following a suit by investment funds Contrarian Capital Management and GMO.

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Argentina’s government is considering pushing back a deadline for creditors to respond to its foreign debt restructuring proposal until mid-to-late August, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The cutoff for the $65 billion deal is currently Aug. 4, though the two sides are at an impasse over the value and legal terms of the final offer, with a large group of creditors rallying behind a counter proposal.

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Argentina will seek a new program with the International Monetary Fund whatever the outcome of talks with holders of its $65 billion of defaulted overseas bonds, Economy minister Martin Guzman said, Bloomberg News reported. Guzman also reiterated that the country has reached the upper limit in what it’s prepared to offer creditors, though said the government would consider improving the legal terms of the offer.

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Argentina’s main bondholder groups say they now represent more than 50% of the country’s overseas debt, potentially strengthening their bargaining power at a crucial time in the country’s bond restructuring, Bloomberg News reported. A group of creditors seeking to extract better terms from the government in its $65 billion debt restructuring says they have added large funds to their bloc, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

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Argentina has lost an attempt to halt a lawsuit in English courts brought by four hedge funds which say the country has manipulated economic data to avert payments in connection with growth-linked sovereign debt instruments, Reuters reported. Asset managers Palladian Partners L.P., HBK Master Fund L.P, Hirsh Group LLC and Virtual Emerald International Limited said they are owed from 525 million-645 million euros in payments linked to the GDP warrants designed to pay out to investors if a number of growth criteria targets are met or exceeded.

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Latin America is at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic, suffering some of the worst infection rates and highest death tolls in the world, the Financial Times reported. Now economists warn that the region faces more bad news: its sickly economies risk falling into a new debt crisis even worse than the last big bust of the 1980s. The continent was struggling with multiple “pre-existing conditions” before the virus took hold: anaemic growth, weak health systems, low tax revenues, high levels of borrowing and an over-reliance on commodity exports.

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Ecuador pushed forward with its debt overhaul plans on Monday, requesting a vote among its creditors on reconfiguring the terms of $17.4 billion of its external bonds, with its largest group of creditors backing the proposal, Reuters reported. Under the proposed deal - unchanged from the government’s earlier proposal - 10 existing bonds maturing between 2022 and 2030 would be swapped for three bonds due in 2030, 2035 and 2040, as well as a past due interest bond maturing in 2030.

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Argentina’s three largest creditor groups joined forces to submit a new bond restructuring proposal that would provide the country more than $35 billion in debt relief over the next nine years, Bloomberg News reported. The Ad Hoc group, the Exchange Bondholder group and the Argentina Creditor Committee, which represent investors including BlackRock Inc. and Ashmore Group PLC, said that they had agreed to form a negotiating bloc and reject the government’s latest offer.

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The Group of 20 leading economies this weekend may have to consider expanding help for the world’s poorest countries, three months after agreeing to provide temporary debt relief, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage nations, Bloomberg News reported. Central bankers and finance ministers from the G-20 will hold a virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss and coordinate phased efforts to spur a global economic recovery. Looking beyond just debt relief efforts would be part of that.

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Argentina’s government sent a bill to Congress late on Thursday night laying out its plans to restructure public debt in dollars issued under local law, offering creditors new instruments in both foreign currency and pesos, Reuters reported. The process to revamp the local-law debt is running in parallel to tense negotiations with international creditors to restructure $65 billion of the nation’s foreign-law bonds, with a deadline for creditors to accept a “final” offer on Aug. 4.

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