Argentina asks mediator for stay on U.S. court debt ruling

Mon Jul 7, 2014 7:57pm EDT
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By Daniel Bases and Sarah Marsh

NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's economy minister on Monday told a mediator in the country's dispute with holdout investors that the U.S. court ruling against the country is "impossible" to fulfill and a stay is necessary in order to reach a solution for all creditors.

The country needs to make a deal with the holdouts who rejected debt restructurings after its 2002 default if it is to avoid a new default just as it struggles with recession and dwindling reserves.

Kicillof spent four hours hashing through the case in New York on Monday with the special master, Daniel Pollack, who was appointed by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa to find common ground in the years-long dispute.

The minister re-iterated that Argentina could not carry out Griesa's ruling to immediately pay $1.33 billion plus accrued interest to the group of holdouts led by Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management, according to a ministry statement.

He also underscored, however, that Argentina was committed to continue negotiating to find a just solution for all creditors. For this purpose, Kicillof had made clear "it was necessary to reinstate the stay given that the case involved not just the litigators but could also be extended to all the creditors who did not join the swaps," the ministry said.

More than seven percent of Argentina's investors did not accept the tough terms of its debt swaps in 2005 and 2010.

Reuters could not reach holdout investors for reaction to the statement.

Kicillof has sealed deals with the Paris Club of creditor nations and Spanish oil major Repsol in the last few months in a bid to attract investment back to Argentina and regain access to global capital markets.   Continued...

New York financial trial lawyer Daniel Pollack exits the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan, June 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid