Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ecuador Pays 35 Cents for Defaulted Bonds in Buyback

Ecuador paid 35 cents on the dollar to holders of as much as $3.2 billion of defaulted bonds and gave creditors a second chance to sell back their securities.

The payout is 5 cents more than the minimum price set by the government and the 30-cent payout offered by Argentina in its 2005 debt restructuring. Ecuador didn’t say how many investors participated in the buyback.

The government, seeking to pressure bondholders into participating, said it won’t improve the offer to those creditors who hold out of the buyback auctions. President Rafael Correa halted payments in December on $510 million of 2012 bonds and in March on $2.7 billion of 2030 bonds, saying the securities were “illegitimate” and “illegal.” A drop in oil exports has sparked a tumble in Ecuador’s reserves.

The repurchase prices “reflect the resources of the republic and are responsive to the majority of the offers received,” Finance Minister Maria Elsa Viteri said in a statement. “The republic will not offer equal or more favourable terms to those being offered to holders of bonds presently.”

Ecuador’s stance is similar to that of Argentina after its 2005 debt settlement. Creditors holding $20 billion of the bonds Argentina defaulted on in 2001 rejected the government’s offer of about 30 cents on the dollar. Then-President Nestor Kirchner pushed legislation through congress that blocks the government from making a second offer to creditors.

Click here to access the full article from Bloomberg