By Jeffrey T. Lewis
The province of Buenos Aires extended Wednesday' deadline for its creditors to accept a three-month delay in the repayment of $250 million in foreign debt after bondholders complained about the short notice the provincial government had originally given them.
Creditors now have until Jan. 31 to decide whether to accept or reject the province's request to delay payment of the principal until May, the provincial government said in a statement. The bonds, which come due on Sunday, are at risk of default if the deadline passes without a deal.
A group representing creditors said Tuesday that it is ready to enter good-faith negotiations with the provincial government, but also noted that the original request for an extension came with a "truncated time frame" and without a comprehensive plan to repay the debt.
The province, Argentina's most populous, has received the support of a significant number of creditors, the province's finance minister, Pablo López, said Wednesday. He also said that talks continue with institutional investors holding enough of the debt to pass the threshold of 75% of the bonds' principal required to accept the delayed repayment.
Buenos Aires Gov. Axel Kicillof rattled bond markets in recent days when he set the first deadline, sending bonds plunging amid concerns the governor's stance was a sign the federal government might also take a tougher line with foreign creditors.
Argentina's Finance Minister Martín Guzmán on Tuesday called on the province's creditors to accept the extension so the central government can first negotiate a restructuring of the country's sovereign debt.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 22, 2020 14:40 ET (19:40 GMT)
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