Tuesday, July 23, 2024

ECONOMY | 22-09-2020 18:02

Mendoza Province said to win majority support for debt swap

Mendoza set to become first provincial government to successfully reach a deal to restructure its own foreign debt, following in footsteps of national government.

Mendoza Province has reached an agreement in principle with its major creditor group, making it the first of a handful of provinces to reach a debt deal after the government restructuredits overseas debt.

The province and its main institutional investors reached the deal after revising the terms of the offer, which has now been extended until September 29, according to a statement. Mendoza had sought to push forward payments on US$500 million of bonds due 2024 and defaulted in June.

More than half a dozen provinces, including the country’s largest, Buenos Aires, have been in talks with creditors to delay their own payments. Analysts expect those deals will be more generous than the one by the national government, which ended at about 55 cents on the dollar.

The deal represents a net present value of 72.7 cents on the dollar assuming a 12 percent exit yield, Economy Minister Lisandro Nieri said in a webcast press conference. The step-up coupon will now be five percent on average, down from about 8.4 percent before the deal. That represents a haircut of 40% on the coupons, Nieri added.

“The agreement is very important to the province, since it’s the largest component of our debt,” Nieri said at the press conference. The province will now move on to restructuring its local debt. “We believe this is very good news.”

The agreement of the Mendoza ad hoc committee in the deal means the province has over 90 percent acceptance, way beyond the minimum participation thresholds of 75 percent required by the bonds’ collective action clauses, Nieri added. The group is made up of three institutional investors.

The revised terms include that principal amortisations will begin March 2023 and end in March 2029. Principal and interest payments will also be earlier in the calendar year, with payments in March and September instead of May and November. That move mirrors a similar strategy by the national government that was key to unlocking the talks.

Mendoza, famed for its exports of Malbec wine, had set Sept. 25 as the deadline for its negotiations. By July 31, the province had tendered about 60 percent of the bonds, according to a statement from that month. The province’s bonds due 2024 traded at 67.09 cent on the dollar on Tuesday at 3.48pm in Buenos Aires.


by Ignacio Olivera Doll, Bloomberg


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