BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina tempted wary investors with a dollar-linked bond on Tuesday, issuing around $1.8 billion of the instrument it hopes will help bolster the peso amid a domestic currency crisis, stringent capital controls and tumbling foreign reserves.
The bond is part of a series of measures by the government and the central bank to revive confidence in the peso and encourage local savings. Argentina restructured over $100 billion in foreign-currency debt in recent months.
The restructurings, including $65 billion in foreign-law debt, helped pull the grains-producing nation out of default, but its access to global markets is very restricted. A mission from the International Monetary Fund arrived in the country on Tuesday to start talks for a new deal.
“The government has to show a change of direction quickly,” said Federico Furiase, director of consultancy Eco Go, adding Argentina had “very little gasoline in terms of reserves.”
“The government is trying to buy some time but these are all patches that are unfortunately arriving late.”
Argentina has temporarily cut export taxes on industrial, mining and agricultural products to boost sales and international reserves.
The IMF team started meetings in Buenos Aires as the government seeks a new program to replace a failed $57 billion facility struck in 2018. An IMF official described the visit as being in “listening mode.”
“We have been very clear in this crisis that it is important to provide support to firms and more importantly, to workers,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNN Spanish in comments later shared by the government.
“So we are not coming with the idea of, ‘oh, well, let’s see how we can further