Argentine Hike Bruises Pipeline as Bioceres Is Said to Delay IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Argentine biotech firm Bioceres SA is said to be delaying its initial public offer once again after a volatile week rocked the country’s currency, bond and stock markets.

The Rosario-based company, which wanted to sell shares in an IPO before May 11, delayed plans after the Argentine peso last week touched a record low, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The central bank was forced to raise its key interest rate three times in a week as a result of the currency fluctuations.

Bioceres is now looking to the second half of the year for the offering, which was originally scheduled for February and postponed after the VIX volatility measure spiked to over 50, a level not seen since 2015.

Argentine Hike Bruises Pipeline as Bioceres Is Said to Delay IPO

Investors are second-guessing the country’s policies, complicating the timing for the sale, said the person, who asked not to be named because negotiations are private. Argentina’s central bank hiked rates by a staggering 1,275 basis points to 40 percent last week, the highest level among major economies, amid growing concerns that both inflation and government spending remain high. The decision followed increasing pessimism toward riskier assets and renewed dollar strength, coupled with outflows as a new income tax for foreigners took effect. Argentine stocks slumped, with the index falling to a December low on Friday.

Bioceres, which sells crop protection and fertilizers and develops genetically modified seeds, had aimed to sell the equivalent of 11.8 million shares in Buenos Aires and New York at a range of $10 to $12 per share.

Here are the other Argentine companies in the pipeline for stock listings that may be affected by the volatility:

  • Genneia SA hired Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to raise about $300 million in a New York IPO
  • Telefonica SA, the debt-laden Spanish phone carrier, has hired banks to sell shares of its Argentine unit through initial public offerings in Buenos Aires and New York
  • Desarrolladora Energetica SA has shareholder approval to sell shares
  • Agribusiness and food company Molino Canuelas added Bank of America Merrill Lynch to its bank roster to reboot an IPO that was suspended in November
  • Real estate developer TGLT’s CEO has said the company plans a "significant" size follow-on share sale in New York as soon as the fourth quarter
  • Banco Hipotecario SA is seeking holder approval for a potential follow-on share sale in Buenos Aires and New York
  • Argentina’s futures markets Rofex and Mercado Abierto Electronico SA look to list locally this year
  • Cattle farmer Inversora Juramento, which sold shares locally in a follow-on in early December, is also eyeing an international share sale
  • Gas distributor Distribuidora de Gas del Centro SA postponed a Buenos Aires IPO in March after downsizing the offering size

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