Argentina reaches debt deal with individual bondholders

GMT 17:07 2016 Friday ,18 March

Arab Today, arab today Argentina reaches debt deal with individual bondholders

Daniel A. Pollack, Special Master presiding
New York - AFP

A group of 115 small Argentine creditors has reached a repayment deal with the country to clear their 15-year-old claims on defaulted bonds, a US mediator said Friday.

Court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack said the group had mostly agreed to accept 70 percent payment on their claims against $155 million in defaulted bonds and, on top of that, unspecified accrued interest.

Some though were weighing an alternative offer of 150 percent of the principal represented by the bonds, Pollack said.

The deal adds to about $6.4 billion that Buenos Aires had already agreed to pay out to settle a total of more than $9 billion in "holdout" bondholder claims the country has faced since its massive 2001 debt default.

The holdouts are bondholders who declined to join the 93 percent of the country's creditors that agreed to accept large writedowns in 2005 and 2010 to be assured repayment.

Argentina had argued that holdouts, mostly hedge funds the country branded "vultures," lost their rights to repayment by not joining the debt restructuring.

But in 2012 a New York court ordered it to pay the full claims of the holdouts.

The government only agreed after Mauricio Macri became president of Argentina in December and reversed policy with an aim to reestablish the country's credibility in global markets.

"I am very pleased to report the settlement of claims of 115 individual bondholders, holding $155 million of defaulted bonds in cases pending in the Southern District of New York," Pollack said Friday.

"These settlements are not with large, multi-billion dollar hedge funds, but with regular, individual investors who saw the opportunity, for the first time in many years, to settle their claims with Argentina and seized that opportunity in good-faith negotiations."

Earlier this week one group of small bondholders accused Pollack of not supporting them in their attempts to negotiate with the Argentine government, saying they were "frozen out" of talks, and petitioned the court to replace him.

On Thursday Pollack rejected their allegations as "baseless".


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