South America

Argentina’s biggest bondholders have rejected the government’s offer to restructure $83bn of foreign debt, raising the prospect that the country is headed for its ninth sovereign debt default, the Financial Times reported. In statements released on Monday, three creditor groups rebuffed the terms laid out by the government late last week, which called for interest payments to be delayed until 2023 and principal payments until 2026. The deal encompassed not only debt issued by the country since 2016, but also previously restructured bonds issued in 2005 and 2010.

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The number of companies filing for protection under Colombia’s insolvency law could nearly double in the coming months because of fall-out from its coronavirus lockdown, the head of the country’s companies regulator said, Reuters reported. The Superintendency of Companies has modified insolvency rules, which allow debtors to renegotiate their obligations with creditors so they can continue operating and avoid bankruptcy.

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Argentina unveiled a proposal to restructure foreign bonds that would push back the majority of its debt payments to the next decade, Bloomberg News reported. Holders of the country’s overseas debt are being offered a series of new securities of various maturities, none of which will accrue interest before 2022. No principal will be returned before 2026. If accepted by investors, the proposal would significantly reduce the country’s short-term debt payments, part of the government strategy to buy itself enough time to shore up its finances and the economy.

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Some 15 years after hitting foreign investors with one of the harshest sovereign bond renegotiations in modern history, Argentina unveiled a proposal for a new debt restructuring that appears to offer only slightly more generous terms, Bloomberg News reported. While government officials didn’t give all the specifics of their offer Thursday evening, they revealed enough to make clear that the losses for creditors holding some $70 billion worth of bonds would be massive. The highlights: a three-year moratorium, a 62% reduction in interest payments and a 5% cut in the value of the principal.

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Argentina registered to issue more than $50 billion in new debt as it prepares to make a painful restructuring offer to holders of its sovereign bonds, Bloomberg News reported. The filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gives an inkling of how much in new securities the country anticipates issuing in the restructuring. President Alberto Fernandez will meet provincial governors at 4pm Thursday at the presidential residence to discuss details of the debt plan, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

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Via Varejo SA, one of Brazil’s largest appliance retailers, is seeking to suspend rent payments for over 1,020 stores to help offset a 50% revenue drop, two people with knowledge of the matter said, Reuters reported. One of the people said the company has already reached an agreement with some landlords and expects to get group agreements with other retailers that would exempt it from paying rent on its stores located in malls for as long as they are shut by the coronavirus lockdowns.

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Argentina is set to make a debt restructuring proposal to international creditors this week amid delays caused by the coronavirus, an economy ministry source said on Tuesday, a key step as the country looks to strike a deal to avoid default, the Financial Times reported. Argentina’s government is locked in talks to revamp close to $70 billion in foreign currency debt issued under international law to push back payments that it says the country cannot pay unless given time to revive stalled economic growth. “They don’t think it will be tomorrow, it’s more likely on Thursday.

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Argentina could announce an offer to restructure $83 billion in foreign-currency bonds as soon as this week as it tries to avoid default, despite shutting down the economy to contain the spread of the coronavirus, LatinFinance reported. "We will make the offer in the next few days," President Alberto Fernández said late Sunday in an interview on the local television channel Net TV.

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Brazilian businesses, desperate for government aid to weather the pandemic, aren’t getting much help from a state lender that used to shell out more than the World Bank, Bloomberg News reported. In past crises, state development bank BNDES would have been quick to flood the market, swelling its loan books by 30% a year to keep the economy afloat. Now, the bank’s top executive -- tasked with dramatically scaling back the state’s role -- has to navigate a world where governments are suddenly turning on the fiscal taps like never before.

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Argentina will make an offer to its creditors “in the coming days” that will reflect the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic, President Alberto Fernandez said in a newspaper interview. While debt talks are “going well,” calculations of debt sustainability will be affected by the impact of the virus, Fernandez was quoted as saying by Perfil. “The coronavirus affects debt renegotiation just as the coronavirus affects the entire global economy,” Fernandez said. “What we are going to sign is something that we can accomplish as a government and as a country.

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