‘El Loco,’ as Milei Is Being Called, Showing Progress in Argentina as J.P. Morgan Expects Country To Gain Access to Capital Markets

New president’s program is beginning to win over leading financial institutions, says financier Facundo Gomez Minujin.

Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images
Presidential candidate Javier Milei during a rally on September 25, 2023 at Buenos Aires. Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images

Argentina will be able to access capital markets by the end of the year. That at least is the expectation of the president of J.P. Morgan for Argentina, Facundo Gomez Minujin, he tells La Nacion. It’s a sign that the country’s chainsaw-wielding president, Javier Milei, has begun winning over leading financial institutions.

“If Argentina continues on this path, by the end of the year,” Mr. Gomez Minujin explains, “it will be able to access the capital markets naturally, that is, to investors who want to buy new debt.” 

Under Mr. Milei, the Argentine government has been unwinding previous administrations’ financial controls, which analysts believe are one reason for the country’s high inflation rates. 

In March, the country announced that it had refinanced $50 billion of sovereign debt held primarily by local institutions. The bond swap was orchestrated by a former Wall Street trader, Luis Caputo,  currently the economy minister. Under Mr. Caputo’s plan, the impending bond maturities from this year were pushed back to 2025 through 2028.

Mr. Gomez Minujin, asked about Argentina’s access to global capital markets, notes that the country “doesn’t have it yet.” He tells La Nacion, “If you do not have access to the capital market, you never have room to get into more debt.”

However, he adds, “if you have access, like any normal country, you can do it, because ultimately the debt helps you to refinance liabilities. The issue is when you don’t have access to the market, and Argentina doesn’t have it yet.”

The financier notes that the changing fortunes of South America’s second-largest country are a marked difference from only several months ago. “Argentina was falling off the map and the world was growing in the other direction,” he ssid. 

Yet “in the last two months, we are already starting to see more investors coming,” he says, with “more financial and non-financial investments that are beginning to try to understand what is happening.” 

This tailwind is expected to impact Argentine industry. “There are a lot of important companies that will begin to access the capital markets in the coming months, if Argentina achieves a certain stability.”

Correction: Argentina is South America’s second-largest country. An earlier edition misstated its ranking.

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