BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s tug-of-war negotiations with creditors over a $66 billion debt restructure plan was progressing, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, as the deadline to find a deal was extended once again.
“The negotiations are progressing in fits and starts. In 2005, when we renegotiated the debt, a year went by. Now two or three months have gone by and we’re being asked for results. What’s needed is less worry and to keep on working,” Fernandez told Radio Nacional as Argentina extended its deadline for a fourth time.
The new deadline has now been set for July 24 “to continue discussions and allow the investors to contribute to a successful restructure,” the government said in a statement. The news sparked an eight percent surge in the Buenos Aires stock exchange.
It comes during a week in which the renegotiation talks appeared to have broken down after one group of creditors, Ad Hoc, which represents 13 international funds, revealed on Tuesday night it would not accept Argentina’s latest offer and was considering taking the South American country to court in New York.
Crisis-wracked Argentina has proposed an exchange offer to bondholders under foreign law, but has yet to find common ground over interest rates and a grace period.
“We’re confident we will reach an agreement. But COVID-19 totally complicated everything. Many of the creditors are banking on the pandemic passing to negotiate in better conditions,” Fernandez added.
Already reeling from two years of recession, Argentina’s economy has been further punished by the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to shrink by 6.5 percent this year.