Argentina extends maturities of $16.8 billion debt to ease payment crunch

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BUENOS AIRES, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Argentina's economy ministry said Tuesday it managed to extend the maturities of around 3 trillion pesos ($16.8 billion) in debt following a debt swap that saw a lot of interest from banking entities.

The bonds, originally slated to mature in the first quarter of 2023, were extended to different points later this and next year, the ministry said in an internal report.

The swap involved 1.1 trillion pesos of debt due in January, 1.2 trillion due in February and 2 trillion pesos due in March, with amortizations of 0.39 trillion pesos, 0.42 trillion and 0.6 trillion pesos, respectively.

This is the third swap operation during the tenure of Economy Minister Sergio Massa amid a severe economic slump fueled by high inflation estimated to have hit around 100% in 2022.

Banks participating in the swap included private Banco Santander (BNCTF.PK), Galicia (GGAL.BA) and Macro (BMA.BA), among others.

The next auction of titles in the domestic market is scheduled for January 18.

($1 = 178.3600 Argentine pesos)

Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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