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Weekly Report - 07 May 2020 (WR-20-18)

ARGENTINA: Debt impasse raises risk of default

Just five months after Alberto Fernández donned the presidential sash, Argentina is teetering on the edge of default, something he promised to avoid. Circumstances have changed in that time. Even before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic struck, Argentina did not have the wherewithal to meet its debt obligations without persuading bondholders to accept a restructuring offer. But the country’s principal creditors this week refused to accept that Argentina’s more straitened circumstances justified the savage haircut contained within the Fernández administration’s offer. A change of heart looks unlikely. The offer expires on 8 May. If Argentina is to avert a ninth default, and avoid being cut out of international credit markets, it has until only 22 May to reach a deal of some sort with bondholders.

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