Argentina aims to sign $27mm investment deal with China to export pigs

Although consuming domestically 95% of the six million pigs it produces each year, Argentina has significant potential to increase production for export and looks set to sign a $27 billion investment deal with China this year. The plan could enable the annual production of 100 million pigs in the next eight years and could generate up to 100,000 jobs. Chinese importers are expected to visit Argentina in March.

Tax agency publishes moratorium rules for SMEs and self-employed

Argentine tax withholding agency (AFIP) published in the Official Gazette, the regulation of the moratorium for SMEs and self-employed established in the so-called Law of Solidarity and Economic Reactivation approved in December. The moratorium will have an average of 42% on accumulated debts until the end of last year and a payment term of up to 10 years with incentives for those who enter as soon as possible.

Argentina encourages the repatriation of private assets

Alberto Fernández administration will grant benefits to Argentinians who repatriate before March 31 at least 5% of their assets abroad. Those who accept the proposal will pay a reduced rate (1.25%) of 2.25% personal property tax on condition that they keep the funds in the country until December 31, either in bank accounts or in various investment options.

Telecom places two Negotiable Obligations for $69.6mm

Telecom Argentina placed debt in local currency for AR$4.2 billion ($69.6 million) through the issuance of two negotiable obligations, one at 12 months (Badlar rate plus 4.75%) and another at 18 months (Badlar plus 5.25 %). The tender was led by a consortium composed of Macro, BACS, AR Partners and Balanz, with orders of up to AR$5.2 billion. The financing will allow the company to make investments in working capital and capex.

BCRA cuts benchmark rate for 5th time since December to 48%

Argentina's Central Bank (BCRA) lowered the benchmark interest rate floor (Leliq) to 48% from a previous 50%, the fifth cut in under two months aiming at overcoming recession and lowering inflation. In that period Leliq has been lowered by 15 percentage points. Banks have been responding positively with loans to SMEs below expected inflation and personal credit lines with rates of around 45%.