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BUENOS AIRES, March 9 (IFR) - Argentine oil company YPF has mandated banks on a US$500m bond sale, a market source told IFR on Wednesday, as the country's borrowers make their way back to the capital markets.
The new government's agreement with holdout creditors last week has paved the way for Argentine credits to return to the markets, and they are wasting little time doing so.
The province of Buenos Aires was expected to price an eight-year bond later on Wednesday, while Pampa Energia and TGS are also mulling new issues.
The identity of the mandated banks was not immediately available, and it was not clear when state-controlled YPF would decide to come to market.
The company has alternative funding sources and is under no pressure to print soon, the source said.
YPF has received a number of unsolicited term sheets from banks and recently took out a number of bi-lateral loans of around US$150m in size from financial institutions.
"It seems like the bank market is opening up, which is something we didn't have before [in Argentina]," said the source.
"YPF has more flexibility in terms of when to go [to the bond market] and what size is needed."
YPF Chief Executive Officer Miguel Caluccio tendered his resignation earlier on Wednesday, as new Argentine President Mauricio Macri puts his market-friendly stamp on policy.
His administration's agreement with the holdout creditors is ending a 15-year legal battle that effectively locked the nation's credits out of the international capitaln markets.
The Argentine sovereign itself is expected to come to market by mid-April with a new bond sized at more than US$10bn.
The spreads on YPF's bonds have widened in tandem with the collapse of oil prices in recent months, and the bonds are currently trading wide to sovereign securities.
YPF's 2024s have been trading at around 9% since early March, down from a recent peak of 10.44% on January 19, according to Thomson Reuters data.
YPF, which has three, eight and nine-year bonds outstanding, neds to "find a part of the curve that is not crowded and doesn't validate high spreads on the bonds trading at the long-end," the source said. (Reporting by Paul Kilby)