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.