Argentina sovereign bond issue 'to total $16.5 billion'

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Paris (AFP)

Argentina's first sovereign bond sale in 15 years will total $16.5 billion, a source close to the matter said Tuesday, as investors gave the country's return to the global debt market a warm welcome.

Overall demand for the bonds, initially forecast to raise between $12.5 billion and $15.0 billion, stands at an unexpectedly high level of nearly $70 billion, prompting Argentina to increase its cash call target, the source told AFP.

Argentina will pay interest rates of between 6.25 and 8 percent on the bonds which have a maturity of up to 30 years, the source said.