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Report: Argentina's Banco Nación to reject debt talks at agro firm Vicentin

Executives at Banco de la Nación Argentina are working to prevent the possibility that agricultural company Vicentin S.A.I.C. starts restructuring $900 million of debt, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The government-owned bank took a hard stance against the soybean exporter in line with a pledge from the new government of President Alberto Fernandez to prioritize the needs of citizens and eliminate privileges that only favored large companies.

Eduardo Hecker, who was recently appointed chairman of the state-owned bank, met with the agricultural firm's shareholders to recommend selling the company's assets for cash, only for the bank to be told the company cannot do that because prices are currently too low.

Banco Nación is Vicentin's largest creditor. In 2019, the bank extended a loan to the company when it was unable to meet a $350 million payment due to farmers.

Prior to that, Banco Nación had also extended a $300 million unsecured loan that allegedly did not pass through the bank's lending department before being paid out. The bank is now working to investigate the alleged irregularity, according to the report.