(Adds second source, quote)
By Davide Scigliuzzo
NASSAU, April 8 (IFR) - Argentina will cap its first international bond in 15 years at US$15bn, two sources with knowledge of the matter told IFR on Friday before the sovereign meets investors next week.
The country is targeting maturities of five, 10 and 30 years on the bond, which is expected to come to market as early as April 18, the two sources said.
Argentina is looking to raise at least US$12bn - enough to cure its 2014 default and resume payments on restructured bonds.
But it could push the sale to US$15bn, depending on the pricing level, the sources said.
While some investors had expected the sovereign to push the bond deal to a much larger amount to help plug this year’s fiscal deficit, officials have made clear they will stick to US$15bn ceiling for now.
“They want to tie off this deal. This is what they got through Congress,” one of the sources said. “They will do this trade and come back.”
The bonds will be issued in the 144A format only, which would restrict participation to larger institutional investors while allowing the sovereign to move more quickly, said the second source, who attended a presentation held at the finance ministry in Buenos Aires on Friday morning.
Argentina has already received more than 140 requests for a meeting from investors as part of a week-long roadshow in London and the US that starts Monday, officials told the attendees.
Finance Secretary Luis Caputo led the delegation hosting Friday’s meeting, which was open to local market participants.
Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay was scheduled to attend the IDB annual meetings in the Bahamas on Friday and over the weekend, and will be part of one of the two teams meeting investors next week.
Officials will address concerns about Argentina’s precarious economic picture and discuss long-term opportunities including the development of local capital markets.
A market pariah since a US$100bn default in 2001, Argentina has made peace with litigant investors under the administration of new President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December.
That has cleared the way for the country to return to the international bond markets for the first time in a decade and a half. (Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo; Editing by Paul Kilby, Natalie Harrison and Marc Carnegie)