Argentines, bond holdouts emerge from NY meeting, no resolution

Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:20pm EDT
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By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentine officials and the holdout investors it has battled for years over its catastrophic 2002 default met separately with a court-appointed mediator on Friday, emerging after five hours of discussions without a resolution.

This is the closest the two sides have come to a face-to-face negotiation, rather than just their lawyers battling it out before U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York.

"They each presented their positions to me, but not in the presence of the other side. No resolution has been reached. It is my hope that there will be future dialogue," Daniel Pollack, the Special Master appointed by the court to act as a mediator, said in a statement after the meeting.

Without a deal, Latin America's No. 3 economy risks tumbling into a new default as it battles a recession, one of the world's highest inflation rates and dwindling foreign reserves.

Both sides also issued statements that kept largely to their establish positions.

Argentina continues to demand Griesa reinstate a stay, or suspension, on his judgments while talks continue. Holdouts say Argentina still refuses to negotiate without any pre-conditions.

The Argentine Economy Ministry's statement said a stay was "essential", especially given the size of the claims in question and that it was willing to continue talks.

According to one source briefed on the meetings, it was Argentina that insisted the two sides not meet face-to-face, forcing Pollack to engage in shuttle diplomacy at his 27th floor office on Park Avenue.   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