The gray market is pricing the new notes similarly to where the old ones were trading after Argentina struck a deal with its creditors last month amid concern over the outlook for Argentina’s moribund economy. That is prompting asset managers to favor bonds maturing in the short term, according to Russ Dallen, managing partner of Venezuela-based Caracas Capital Markets. Argentina’s gross domestic product is expected to contract a record 13.5% this year, according to JP Morgan.
“Between COVID, Argentina, Ecuador, Lebanon and Venezuela, 2020 hasn’t been a great year for emerging market asset managers who are all a little shell-shocked by the carnage,” Dallen said.
Argentina’s new overseas notes are expected to begin officially trading at a spread of more than 10 percentage points above benchmark U.S. Treasury bonds, a level that traders call “distressed.” While that signals a high risk of default, the global economy’s zero-rate environment may drive investors to continue taking chances in Argentina, despite its repeat history of default, according to Dallen.