Talks under way in Argentina debt row

GMT 05:56 2014 Thursday ,26 June

Arab Today, arab today Talks under way in Argentina debt row

Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman
New York - AFP

Talks between Argentina and holdout hedge fund bondholders are underway as the South American country seeks to avoid defaulting on its debt, though no resolution has yet been reached.
Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof was in New York to discuss his country's debt situation with representatives of the Group of 77 developing nations plus China.
"Argentina wants to keep servicing its restructured debt, but it is not being allowed to do so," Kicillof said Wednesday.
"It is a bizarre... case because we are being forced to accept certain conditions that endanger not just the debt servicing but the entire economy -- they endanger our country as a whole."
Kicillof said President Cristina Kirchner's government did not cause the crisis it is trying to solve.
Daniel Pollack, appointed by a US federal judge to preside over the talks, said he met counsel for the parties for hours Tuesday and that they had communicated with him by phone over the last two days.
"No resolution has been reached," Pollack said in a statement.
"The parties, through their counsel, have agreed to keep the substance of our discussions confidential in order to facilitate the possibility of a future resolution."
Pollack declined to comment further.
US District Judge Thomas Griesa has named Pollack as "special master" to oversee talks, after Buenos Aires asked him to organize negotiations with its creditors.
The move raised hopes that a deal could be concluded before a June 30 deadline for Buenos Aires to pay back possibly billions of dollars to creditors, a week after the US Supreme Court turned down the country's last-ditch appeal.
The Supreme Court's ruling means the country must pay the hedge funds -- "holdouts" from its 2005 and 2010 debt restructuring -- the full value of their bonds at the time it makes its next regular debt payment, scheduled for the end of this month.
Buenos Aires had warned that the ruling could cause Argentine to default on its debt for the second time in 13 years.
The case pits Argentina against hedge funds that refused to take part in a restructuring of the debt on which Buenos Aires defaulted in 2001.
The two funds that sued Argentina in the case, NML Capital and Aurelius Management, hold about $1.3 billion worth of bonds. But Argentina says the court decision would force it to pay all holdouts, more than $15 billion.
That is more than half of the country's foreign exchange reserves.
"The government I work in did not take on this debt, the government I work in did not go into default, the government I work in has worked hard to normalize its financial dealings," Kiciloff said.
No further meetings on the debt were currently on his agenda.
Kirchner, in a Twitter message, said hedge funds should not be allowed to derail sovereign debt restructuring deals.

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