U.S. judge urges Argentina to settle bond litigation
By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday urged Argentina to resolve bondholder litigation stemming from its $100 billion default in 2002, in his first remarks on settlement talks following the South American nation's election of a new president.
At a court hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa urged Argentina and creditors suing over defaulted bonds to "make some attempt at that direction" after years of litigation that led the country to default again last year.
Griesa made no reference to the Nov. 22 election that brought to power Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who has it a priority to settle the dispute with creditors who rejected the terms of the country's 2005 and 2010 bond restructurings a priority.
But Griesa said he wanted to put "some emphasis on the need to work on as prompt a resolution to this litigation as possible," noting the dispute had been ongoing for "a very long time."
"It is time to work toward a conclusion," he said. "It is time."
His comments came a week after a court-appointed mediator in the dispute, New York lawyer Daniel Pollack, confirmed he had met with Argentina's new secretary of finance, Luis Caputo, who he said expressed the intention to commence settlement talks "promptly."
Pollack at the time said he also met a week earlier with representatives of bondholders holding $10 billion in judgments against Argentina. No substantive negotiations to resolve the litigation occurred at either meeting, he said on Dec. 9.
The talks would be aimed at resolving litigation by holdout creditors spurned Argentina past debt restructurings, which resulted in 92 percent of its defaulted debt being swapped and investors being paid less than 30 cents on the dollar. Continued...