ARGENTINA: In the balance

Nov 1, 2013

As Argentina’s financial position looks ever-more precarious, some investors see an opportunity to pick up sovereign bonds ahead of a rally. Their optimism may prove unjustified

By Charles Newbery

At the October 3 opening of a housing project, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner repeated her vow to protect the country from hedge funds suing for huge returns on defaulted bonds.

This time, however, her claims went further, to include the US justice system; Fernández lambasted the courts, arguing that they were determined to bring Argentina to default. "We will not stand around with our arms crossed," she said. "Argentina will comply with what it has promised."

She spoke as a lawsuit threatened to push Argentina to a second debt default in 12 years, raising the alarm over the future of Latin America’s third-biggest economy as it stagnates under high inflation and worsening financial and trade numbers.

The latest twists in a restructuring saga that is more than a decade old continue to keep investors guessing. For some, the rout has given rise to potential that...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management