Argentine Peso Collapses To New Low Despite Massive Intervention

Update: *ARGENTINE CENBANK SAID TO OFFER $5B IN PESO MARKET AT 25/USD - That's 10% of reserves!!

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The Argentine Central Bank spent over $1 billion buying pesos on Friday (and another billion to buy short-term bonds back) to support the collapsing currency...

But... the weekend appears to have provided no confidence improvement for investors who are wary of this week's maturing bills (traders see Tuesday as key day for the BCRA, when it is scheduled to faces maturity of ARS673mm in Lebacs) and the potential delays of any IMF bailout...

However, BNP Paribas says the Peso is too risky to even short, even taking into account the carry return...

“...we prudently decided to close our tactical short 1m NDF USDARS at 23.75,” strategists led by Gabriel Gersztein write in a report,

“If anything, this is not the time to be structurally positioned in ARS assets, in our view”

But JPMorgan is even more concerned, warning that the peso may face “disorder” this week if the nation’s central bank struggles to roll over about $30 billion of short-term notes set to expire.

As Bloomberg reports, the central bank is scheduled to auction notes known as Lebacs on Tuesday, in order to roll over about 674 billion pesos ($30 billion) of securities that mature on Wednesday.

The yield on Lebacs due June jumped to 58.1 percent in the secondary market today, forcing the central bank to intervene in secondary markets.

“A failure in rolling over the maturing Lebac stock would lead to a disorder bid on the dollar and renovated capital outflow,” JPMorgan analysts Diego Pereira and Lucila Barbeito wrote in a note.

"The recent measures by the central bank, together with Lebac rates above 40 percent suggest the authority would be able to roll a significant share of the stock.”

Some investors are spooked by the fact that, as Bloomberg reports, members of the central bank’s monetary policy committee met with representatives of the nation’s top banks on Saturday to discuss the recent FX volatility and Tuesday’s note auction, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Furthermore, the central bank asked banks to guarantee branches have enough cash on hand.