YPF Ad Hoc group creditors won't swap debt beyond 2021 bonds, says source

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Creditors holding Eurobonds issued by Argentina’s YPF have called on the state energy company to cancel its proposed debt swap beyond the 2021 bond, a source said on Tuesday.

YPF, which has earmarked $6.2 billion of its debt for restructuring, swerved default on Monday after winning support from a key creditor group to swap a $413 million bond coming due in March.

However, creditors were not prepared to agree to swap out the other six notes coming due between 2024 and 2047, a source familiar with the thinking of the Ad Hoc creditor group said, adding this was seen as an “opportunistic” push by YPF.

“The group has told the company loud and clear they will not be tendering any other bonds,” the source told Reuters.

“Cancelling the exchange offer for all other bonds is the most direct way to ensure future constructive engagement from bondholders - and hence the Group will tender 2021s but none of the other bonds included in the exchange.”

The major Ad Hoc creditor group says it holds about 45% of the bond maturing in March. The source said the group also holds “significant positions” in 2024 bonds and the March 2025 bond, though declined to give further details.

Major asset managers from BlackRock to Amundi and Ashmore to Pimco are invested in YPF.

YPF, which is spearheading development of the South American nation’s huge Vaca Muerta shale fields, has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and depressed demand.

Overhauling YPF’s debt marks Argentina’s latest push to tackle its debt burden after restructuring about $100 billion in sovereign bonds last year.

“The restructuring was a risky bet but in the end President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wanted to avoid a default,” said Daniel Kerner at Eurasia. “But the outlook for the sector remains dire, and the administration will continue to push private companies to restructure their debts as it tries to prevent a devaluation this year.”

YPF’s March bond jumped more than 4 cents on Monday. YPF’s U.S.-listed shares rose 1% on Tuesday, bringing its weekly gains to more than 8%. (Reporting by Karin Strohecker, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)