Economy Minister announces new bond swap

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Argentine economy minister Amado Boudou announced a 9 billion peso (US$2.3 billion) debt swap planned for next week.

The government hopes to exchange inflation-linked bonds coming due in 2009, 2010, and 2011 for Bocan 2014 bonds with yields not tied to questioned official inflation statistics.

Boudou also announced the first meeting next week between academics and the national statistics agency Indec, as part of a move to “strengthen” the institution and restore the credibility of government data.

More than a third of Argentine debt is linked to inflation, and economic analysts and opposition politicians accuse the government of low-balling consumer price data to save money on payments.

“With this measure we’re taking another small step in Argentina’s return to financial markets,” said Boudou, who has vowed to restore credibility to the country’s economic statistics.

Latin America’s No. 3 economy has largely been shut out of issuing new debt on international markets because of fallout over its massive 2002 default and subsequent restructuring.

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