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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 December, 2004, 11:09 GMT
Go-ahead for Argentine debt swap
New York Stock Exchange
The debt swap could be launched in mid January
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given the green light to a huge restructuring of Argentina's debt.

Argentina, which defaulted in 2001, has offered to swap about $102bn of unpaid bonds for up to $41.8bn in new debt.

One-third of these new bonds will be sold in New York, with the rest going to European and Argentine markets.

Pending approval from European financial regulators, the scheme should go ahead on 17 January.

Analyst expects some 70% of investors to accept the offer, but some bondholders have already expressed their disagreement with the offer.

The scheme will leave many bondholders with only some 25-50% of their initial investment.

The administration of President Nestor Kirchner has resisted pressure to improve the offer, arguing Argentina needs its resources to fight a social crisis that has left more than 40% of population below the poverty line.

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