UPDATE 2-Argentina makes $5.9 bln bond payment, leaves hole in foreign reserves
(Adds foreign currency reserves levels)
By Sarah Marsh and Jorge Otaola
BUENOS AIRES Oct 5 (Reuters) - Argentina said on Monday it had completed a $5.9 billion payment on maturing Boden 15 bonds, leaving a larger-than-expected hole in the South American country's foreign currency reserves.
Its foreign currency reserves fell 14.6 percent to $27.71 billion, almost entirely due to the debt payment. Latin America's No. 3 economy relies on its hard currency reserves to finance imports and prop up its currency.
"It is the most significant debt payment in the last few years," Central Bank President Alejandro Vanoli said on Twitter. He added that the "level of reserves is sufficient for the central bank's monetary policy."
Argentina's access to foreign capital markets is restricted due to its protracted legal battle with creditors suing for full repayment of debt it defaulted on in 2002.
Needing to plug the fall in reserves and finance a surge in spending, the economy ministry will hold three debt auctions this week, with all the notes being governed by local law.
Earlier on Monday, the ministry said it would on Thursday top-up two bonds maturing in 2017: its dollar-denominated Bonad, to be redeemed in pesos at the official rate, and its peso-denominated Bonar.
It would seek to raise $500 million worth of Bonads and $3 billion pesos ($317 million) of Bonars, although it could issue more, the ministry said. Continuación...