UPDATE 1-Argentina says sovereign bond had more than $60 bln in demand
(Adds quotes, details of deal)
BUENOS AIRES, April 19 (Reuters) - Argentina has received more than $60 billion in bids for the country's first sovereign bond offer since its 2002 default, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said on Tuesday, calling it the most sought-after emerging market debt deal in history.
Declining to specify the size of the bond to be sold later on Tuesday, Prat-Gay said the government planned to accept about 22 percent of bids made by investors for the bond.
The deal closes a painful chapter in Argentine history starting with a financial crisis 14 years ago that tossed millions of middle-class Argentines into poverty.
"This is the biggest demand ever seen for a bond or stock offered by an emerging market government or company, and probably one of the 20 biggest in the world generally," Prat-Gay told a news conference in Buenos Aires.
The deal was shaping up to be "tremendously successful," Prat-Gay said.
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli)
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