Argentina
Kirchner to the rescue: The Vice President's intervention helped unlock Argentina's debt negotiations days before going into default
Cristina Kirchner, former president, and current vice president of Argentina reached out to the foreign investment funds and also to the government to push for an agreement.

The Vice-President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, played a key role in unlocking the renegotiation of the debt with the large foreign funds, which according to the latest developments is on the way to a favorable resolution.

The vice president intervened after May 8, when the government's offer was closed and less than 15 percent of the creditors accepted it, as reported by LPO. Finance Minister Martín Guzmán was badly hit and the funds did not want to enter a new negotiation with him. They were determined to allow Argentina to go into default.

As LPO learned, the former president made several efforts to send political signals to the funds, which went from being ready to go to court to be open to discussing a new proposal.

Argentina's Finance Minister confirmed that the dialogue with the bondholders is improving: "Things are going the way we want them to go"

Journalist Carlos Pagni revealed in the newspaper La Nación one of these steps. Cristina prompted a conversation between former YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio, with whom she has a fluid dialogue, and Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, possibly the most influential player in the whole negotiation.

At BlackRock, they were upset by the filtration of a proposal, and, to reach a successful conclusion, it was key to turn that position around. After the dialogue with Galuccio, Fink entrusted Mexican Gerardo Rodriguez Regordosa, former Undersecretary of Finance during the presidency of Felipe Calderon, to negotiate an agreement. Rodríguez Regordosa had had serious disagreements with Guzmán.

Larry Fink.

At the same time, Cristina sent out internal signals within the government on the need for the negotiations to be unblocked. Specifically, to Guzmán, who had been badly hit by the funds and had taken a very uncompromising position, perhaps fearing that he would be pushed to the left by hard Kirchnerism within the government. The former president let the Minister of Economy know that she believed it was especially important to avoid the default and provided her support to go forward with the negotiations.

The government is confident that negotiations with the bondholders are on track and that it is "a matter of time" before an agreement is reached. This is the sentiment that began to prevail in the last hours after some important moves were made with the creditors, which were exhibited in the new counterproposal being analyzed by Blackrock.

For this reason, the Ministry of Economy is working on a readjustment of its original proposal, which to some extent reflects the progress in the negotiations. Once the document is submitted to the SEC, it gives the parties a legal period of ten days to negotiate.

The reference to the deadline is not unimportant. This Friday, the government faces an expiration of US 503 million that it does not intend to pay and would technically go into default, but the ministry is analyzing extending the negotiation period by about two weeks. When the modified offer is presented, ten legal days will run, as established by US law. During that negotiation period it is very unlikely that any lawsuit will be filed in New York against Argentina.

Beyond the differences with the investment funds, the market recognizes the work that Guzmán did with the IMF and international organizations, which truly endorsed his proposal to renegotiate the debt to make it "sustainable" and see it as a model for negotiations that will be repeated in the short term throughout the world. 

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