Apr 19, 6:11 PM EDT

Argentina makes a highly successful return to the global credit markets with the launch of a $16.5 billion bond offering


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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina has made a highly successful return to global credit markets with the launch of a $16.5 billion bond offering.

Economy Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay indicated Tuesday that Argentina could have sold more bonds, receiving more than $69 billion in orders.

The stronger-than-expected demand from investors allowed the deal to be marked up from its initial guidance of $15 billion. It also marks the biggest order books for an Argentine bond.

Most of the proceeds will help pay a small group of holdout creditors who refused debt restructurings after Argentina suffered its worst economic crisis and defaulted on $100 billion of bonds in 2001.

Prat-Gay says the holdouts will be paid Friday. He says this will jumpstart the struggling Argentine economy and help tame one of the world's highest inflation rates.

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