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Argentina's BICE plans $400M international bond program

Argentina's state-controlled Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior SA, or BICE, is preparing a $400.0 million international bond issuance in the second half of 2018, according to a report by El Cronista.

BICE's Chairman Pablo García told the publication the bank already issued six series of negotiable obligations at a local level, which generated credits for projects in energy, technology and other "challenging" sectors across Argentina.

The new international bond issuance will reportedly have a term of 5-7 years and be issued under New York laws, without a sovereign guarantee. It could be carried out in June or July of this year, the executive said.

The bank estimates it will lend around 22.50 billion Argentine pesos in credit in 2018, or 32.00 billion pesos if all affiliates of BICE are counted, according to García.

Meanwhile, the BICE Chairman said the bank would potentially seek capitalization from multilateral international organizations such as World Bank investment arm International Finance Corp. and Inter-American Development Bank's Inter-American Investment Corp. García said the bank was no longer seeking financing from the Argentine state, describing it as "self-sustainable," after movements on capital markets multiplied by sixfold the size of the investment and foreign trade bank.

As of Feb. 14, US$1 was equivalent to 20.01 Argentine pesos.