Financial Regulatory Forum

EXCLUSIVE – Argentina eyes late Jan, Feb debt swap

By Kevin Gray and Luis Andres Henao

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Argentina is working to launch an exchange of $20 billion in defaulted debt by the end of January or early February despite a political battle over foreign reserves that has roiled markets, the finance secretary told Reuters on Thursday.

Finance Secretary Hernan Lorenzino said Argentine officials have been talking with retail investors and would travel to Europe next week to discuss the swap with holders of the country’s defaulted debt.

Argentina hopes the swap will allow it to issue new global bonds eight years after a massive sovereign default and ease tight financing this year as it confronts some $13 billion in debt payments.

Lorenzino said Argentina was expecting a response from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the coming days, a final regulatory step before the country can begin the exchange.

“The government wants to complete the regulatory steps and present the offer as soon as possible,” he said.

EU exec likely to sue Greece over statistics mess

By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The European Commission is likely to launch infringement proceedings against Greece for failing to provide reliable statistics on its budget deficit and debt, an EU source with knowledge of the proceedings said on Tuesday.

The Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, is responsible for upholding EU law. It had already once launched proceedings against Greece for unreliable deficit statistics in 2004, but closed them in 2007.

“There will probably be another infringement procedure… because providing timely and reliable statistics is an obligation under EU law and they have failed in their obligation,” the EU source said.

Australia to reform tax on financial securities

australian_flag    SYDNEY, Sept 4 (Reuters) – The Australian government plans to change the law to clarify that dividends paid to holders of debt-like securities may be eligible for a tax credit, under reforms to tax arrangements for financial securities.

Banks uneasy over report China state companies assert right to default on derivatives trades

By Eadie Chen and Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, Aug 31 (Reuters) – A report that Chinese state-owned companies will be allowed to walk away from loss-making commodity derivative trades provoked anger and dismay among investment bankers on Monday as they feared it may set a damaging precedent.


ANALYSIS-European banks swallow soaring bad debts, fog starts to lift

USA/    By Steve Slater, European Banking Correspondent
   LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Investment bankers have reversed their role as villains of the financial crisis, delivering bumper half-year profits to offset a startling rise in retail bad debts at Europe’s banks, but may need to repeat the trick.

Latvia seeks debt write-downs in home-loan restructure plan

   By Patrick Lannin and Sven Nordenstam
   RIGA/STOCKHOLM, July 8 (Reuters) – Latvia wants banks to write off 10 percent of the debt of people who enter a planned scheme to restructure problem loans, the prime minister said on Wednesday, but banks said volumes concerned would be small. (more…)