Mexico mega bond swap meets with ‘very good’ demand -finance ministry

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MEXICO CITY, July 25 (Reuters) – Mexico’s multibillion-dollar bond was met with strong market demand, a senior finance ministry official said on Thursday, in what he described as a strengthening of the country’s financial position at a testing moment.Gabriel Yorio, head of the finance ministry’s public debt office, called the exchange of bonds about to expire for ones with longer maturities a “vote of confidence” in the government.“Investor appetite has been very good,” Yorio said in an interview with Reuters after Mexico on Wednesday completed what he described as the largest bond swap by volume in its history.Yorio said Mexico had raised $3.6 billion on international markets in the deal, and that proceeds would be used to improve the country’s debt maturity profile in the coming years.Mexico reopened a 2029 dollar bond, raising $1.5 billion, and issued a new 30-year bond, maturing in 2050, for $2.1 billion. It withdrew a dollar bond maturing in January 2021 for $933 million and also exchanged outstanding bonds for $2.5 billion.Total demand for Mexico’s bonds was 2.6 times the amount available, and 217 institutional investors from America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East participated.The market take-up was a boost to an administration thrown into turmoil earlier this month when Carlos Urzua unexpectedly quit as finance minister, posting a scathing resignation letter on Twitter that blasted public policymaking.Urzua’s departure added to concerns about the finances of Mexico, whose credit rating is being pressured by the $106 billion debt burden of state oil firm Pemex.President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appointed Arturo Herrera, a pragmatic and respected economist, to succeed Urzua, but doubts over the future persist. (Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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