Argentina debt talks make progress, to continue: mediator

Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:09pm EST
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By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sovereign debt settlement talks between the government of Argentina and holdout bondholders stemming from an historic default in 2002 made further progress on Wednesday, the court appointed mediator, Daniel Pollack, said in a statement.

"Some progress was made today. Discussions will continue tomorrow," Pollack said. Thursday's discussions between Argentine Finance Secretary Luis Caputo and various holdout investors would mark the fourth straight day of meetings between the two sides in the dispute.

In the U.S. courts there are $9 billion worth of claims against Argentina that remain to be settled, Pollack said in a statement at the start of this round of talks on Monday.

Caputo, a former bond trader with Deutsche Bank, sits at the negotiating table with a market mindset that is different from the previous government's chief negotiator, former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, an economist and academic.

One source familiar with the discussions in New York said the talks could extend potentially through to Friday.

A second source familiar with the talks characterized the discussions as "intense and highly complex" given different investor groups are now involved rather than just the main holdouts led by Elliott Management and Aurelius Capital Management.

In November 2014, Pollack was given authority by presiding U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa to grant other holdout investors a seat at the negotiating table.

Argentina appears to be working systematically to settle with those various holdout groups.   Continued...

U.S.-court appointed mediator Daniel Pollack arrives, at his midtown Manhattan office for a meeting on Argentina's debt crisis, in New York February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid