Private External Debt Reached a Record High in 2019

The external debt issued by privately-owned companies reached a record high of USD86.12 billion as of the end of the third quarter of 2019, mainly driven by a financial debt that had been mounting since 2017. This figure has been sourced from the Report on Private External Debt, the first one released by the BCRA after having been interrupted in 2017.

The private external debt evolution since the beginning of 2016 showed the same growing trend as public debt to hit a record high of USD86.12 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2019. Between December 2017 and September 2019, the total private external debt grew by USD10.63 billion, mainly due to a financial debt increase of USD7.66 billion.

From the beginning of 2020, the private sector made net external debt payments for USD3.44 billion, out of which ARS2.74 billion corresponded to export pre-financing and advances. Thus, the private external debt stood at USD81.4 billion as of June 30, 2020, as shown by the report released today for the first time since 2017.

In order to ensure a steady flow of foreign currency to support economic recovery within the framework of a smooth forex market, the BCRA adopted some measures by the end of May to regulate the payment of commercial foreign liabilities. By mid-September, it set guidelines for the refinancing of financial private debt.

After a three-year absence of official statistics on this matter, the BCRA is publishing the series on private external debt once again. The series will be updated on a quarterly basis and released through the Report on Private External Debt. In this way, the BCRA reaffirms its commitment to produce and disseminate external sector statistics, to upgrade the compilation methodology as agreed upon with other entities (mainly the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC)), and to uphold the highest international standards.

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November 12, 2020.

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