Small holding could trigger big acceleration on Argentina bonds
By Davide Scigliuzzo
NEW YORK, Aug 14 (IFR) - Owning just US$25m of bonds may be all it takes to accelerate payments on US$30bn of Argentina's restructured debt, if holders of a particularly small series of New York-law Pars decide to pull the trigger.
Among all the bonds eligible to be accelerated, one Par in particular - the US dollar-denominated 2.50% December 2038, on which the sovereign has just US$95.3m outstanding - has been the focus of investor attention.
"We have seen investors taking positions in the smaller series of Par bonds since the beginning of the year," said Jorge Piedrahita, chief executive officer of Torino Capital, a brokerage firm focusing on distressed debt in emerging markets.
"They are paying premium prices for illiquid bonds, but with just US$25m you can effectively control the acceleration process," he said.
After Argentina's July 30 default, investors representing at least 25% in nominal amount of any particular series of restructured notes can declare their principal and interest immediately due and payable, which is known as acceleration.
Excluding certain restructured bonds issued under Argentine and Japanese law, the Par bond identified by ISIN code XS0501195647 is the smallest series outstanding among the sovereign's restructured bonds - and hence the easiest target for acceleration.
"When people were making their bets on acceleration, they were thinking this Par series would be the easiest on which to reach the acceleration threshold," said a hedge fund manager familiar with the situation.
Some restructured bonds issued under Argentine and Japanese law are even smaller in size, but hedge funds would be less willing to litigate under those jurisdictions. Continuación...