S&P slashes Argentina debt rating to junk

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:39s

S&P slashes Argentina debt rating to junk

Standard & Poor's announced Thursday that it was slashing Argentina's long-term credit rating another three notches into the deepest area of junk debt.

David Pollard reports.


S&P slashes Argentina debt rating to junk

Protest time in Argentina.

This was Wednesday (August 28), when hundreds took to the streets of Buenos Aires to demand food and pay.

Two days later, it's a global credit agency sounding the alert.

Saying a government plan to restructure a huge chunk of Argentina's debt amounts to a brief default.

Along with that warning came a debt downgrade: by three notches, to 'junk' status.

Announced this week by the treasury minister, the plan would extend maturities on some 100 billion dollars of debt ... Effectively meaning investors would have to wait longer to get their money back.

The move triggered a sell-off across Argentina's bonds: prices on some maturities hit record lows.

Analyst Marcelo Trovato: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECONOMIC ANALYST, MARCELO TROVATO, SAYING: "The level of indebtedness already exceeds 95% of Argentina's gross domestic product, so it's very difficult to govern in this way and the markets are not responding as thought." President Macri says the move will help defend the Argentine peso ... And the currency did briefly rally after the announcement.

But that's from an over 20 per cent loss since the market-friendly leader took a major bruising in primary elections this month.

If leftist populist Alberto Fernandes wins the presidential poll in October - as many expect - markets see government intervention in the economy, and the possibility of further debt restructurings.

That could help trigger, they say, a major, 2001-style, economic crisis.

An event Argentines remember with fear, for the poverty it brought to millions.

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