Argentina said Friday it will sell around $1 billion in U.S.-dollar linked bonds as the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner struggles to raise financing, the Wall Street Journal reported. The two-year notes will carry an annual interest rate of 1.75 percent and pay investors in Argentine pesos.
Offers for bonds will begin Thursday, with final settlements on Oct. 28.
The bond issue represents the third occasion Kirchner has tapped the domestic debt market this year. The country is unable to sell bonds overseas because of a dispute with creditors in the U.S.
The country made similar moves in September when it sold 10 billion pesos ($1.17 billion) of two-year bonds. It also parted with 5.5 billion pesos in three-year bonds in March, the first time it had raised money from domestic investors in years.
The government also will borrow heavily from the national pension agency and the central bank to fund itself. But analysts say that money printing by the central bank to fund the federal government has been the primary reason that inflation is around 40 percent.
“Selling bonds linked to the exchange rate is a normal and widespread recipe in emerging markets when fears of a devaluation are rising on the market and [a government] wants to send signals that it won’t devalue,” Pedro Rabasa, a former chief economist at the central bank, told the Wall Street Journal.
Argentina woes began in 2001 when it defaulted on $100 billion of bonds it had sold offshore during its economic crisis. Some 93 percent of defaulted debt that was eligible for restructuring was later swapped for heavily discounted new bonds.
But that hasn’t quelled all investors, who have pursued Argentina in courts all across the world. Argentina has even managed to default on the new bonds it offered after a judge blocked the payouts unless the government could pay those that had lost out in 2001 as well.