LATAM WRAP-Argentina's Neuquen struggles to complete bond sale
By Paul Kilby
NEW YORK, Sept 25 (IFR) - Argentina's Province of Neuquen struggled to complete its bond sale on Friday after a roller coaster week for Latin American assets.
Leads are telling accounts that the 12-year bond backed by gas royalties was being postponed due to market conditions, though there is no formal announcement, said one investor.
"It is not the best time to bring a deal," said the investor. "I was surprised they were moving ahead but I guess they thought they could get it done."
Leads Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan had already sidelined the deal for most of this week after ending roadshows on September 21 as the gloom over Brazil's economic crisis soured sentiment across EM.
The deal's longer-term maturity would have helped the province extend the average life on its debt to 7.5 years from 3.6 years, according to Fitch, which had assigned a Triple C rating to the up to US$350m issue.
A better tone this morning following the Brazilian central bank's pledge late Thursday to defend the Real with all available weapons provided a better backdrop for issuance.
But the window for execution proved fleeting as markets gave back earlier gains and left the province struggling to attract buyers at initial price thoughts of 10.25% area.
A sell-off in Argentine debt prices after the government ordered mutual funds to adjust the way they value dollar bond portfolios further complicated execution for the deal. Continuación...