Argentina fails to reach breakthrough in debt mediator talks
By Daniel Bases and Alejandro Lifschitz
NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina failed to reach a breakthrough with the U.S. court-appointed mediator in its battle with holdout creditors on Friday in talks that lasted just an hour, suggesting a settlement to avoid a default next week remains elusive.
The Argentine delegation headed home to seek instruction from the government after the talks in New York, mediator Daniel Pollack said, while the country's economy ministry underscored it would continue the dialogue with him over the next few days.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa ordered Argentina and holdout creditors who have rejected its debt restructurings to meet continuously with Pollack to try to reach a deal and avoid the country's second default in 12 years.
If they fail to reach a deal and holdouts do not ask for a suspension of Griesa's ruling to pay them back in full on their defaulted bonds, the judge will prevent Argentina from making a July 30 deadline for a payment on its exchanged bonds.
"No resolution of the impasse between the parties has been reached. Consistent with Judge Griesa’s direction of earlier this week in open Court, I anticipate that there will be further communications with the parties prior to the Default date (July 30)," Pollack said.
News that the meeting was over so quickly sent Argentina's bonds reeling. Over-the-counter Discount bonds fell 5.6 percent by 1900 GMT while Par bonds slid 5 percent.
Pollack said the holdout hedge funds, who bought Argentine notes on the cheap after the country's 2002 $100 billion default and spurned the terms of its 2005 and 2010 restructuring deals, were not present at the meeting.
However he briefed them by telephone and they reiterated their "availability and willingness to meet with [him], and, indeed, with representatives of the Republic, at any time". Continued...