UPDATE 2-Argentina hopes debt sale next week will be last of 2016
(Adds comments on bond sale plans)
By Jason Lange and Daniel Bases
WASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) - Argentina hopes it won't have to tap international capital markets again in 2016 after it sells up to $15 billion in debt next week, its first such sale since the country's 2002 default, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said on Thursday.
"We're trying very hard for this issue to be the last issue of this year," Pray-Gay said at an event on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington.
He said the sale, expected to begin on Monday, resulted from a sea change in Argentina's will to end a long-festering legal battle with mostly U.S. creditors who refused to accept the payment terms after it defaulted on nearly $100 billion in debt in 2002.
The new right-of-center government in Buenos Aires recently negotiated a deal to settle the sovereign debt dispute with most of the holdout creditors. The proceeds of next week's debt sale will allow Argentina to pay off 90 percent who have agreed to settle.
Separately, Prat-Gay said in an appearance at the Atlantic Council think tank that he was not concerned the remaining holdouts would impact the sale.
He also said Argentina's government is targeting an inflation rate no higher than 25 percent this year and is making the battle against rising prices its top priority.
"We've got a target and we've been clear about that target. And that target is a ceiling of 25 percent for this year. And it is a band of 20 to 25 percent," Prat-Gay said. Continuación...