Government investigates allegations of debt buyback info leak

Massa orders investigation after opposition senator reports suspected foul play.

The government is investigating the country’s top ten stock brokers after the opposition reported that information about last Wednesday’s debt buyback had been leaked.

Since the announcement, in which Economy Minister Sergio Massa said the country was going to “buy back Argentine foreign debt for over US$1 billion”, sovereign bonds rose by up to 11%.

This Friday, Senator Juan Carlos Romero, of opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio, asked the government to report who bought the AL29, AL30, GD29 and GD30 bonds in the last three months. Romero argued that “some sectors could have known about the announcement” before it was public and taken advantage of it. “It seems like an operation planned in advance,” he tweeted.

The next day, Economy Minister Sergio Massa ordered stock market regulator, the National Stock Commission (CNV), to open an investigation into “speculative maneuvers” and “the possible leakage of sensitive information regarding the national government’s decision in the sovereign debt buyback”.

Massa also told the CNV to assess whether there were uncommon operations to generate “a rise in parallel exchange rates.”

This Monday, the CNV told the 10 largest stock brokers in Argentina to report information about the operations in which irregularities are suspected. Massa demanded names of people and societies that made unusual purchases with the blue chip dollar, MEP dollar, bond securities and sovereign bonds.

The Minister also told the CNV to ensure that the opposition had access to information about the investigation. “I estimate that these actions will clarify whether the market activity was associated with a leak of sensitive information that allowed some privileged parties to gain extraordinary benefits or if, conversely, what happened was a speculative attack against the national currency that the government deactivated with its foreign debt buyback measure,” he wrote.


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