December 20, 2014
Report: no offer to holdouts on Monday
Argentina will not make a formal offer to settle its dispute with holdout investors in its sovereign debt at its meeting on Monday with a court-appointed mediator, Economy Ministry sources said yesterday.
Argentina’s mission to meet with mediator Daniel Pollack in New York want to check if the holdouts would simply insist on being immediately paid the full value of their bonds, namely US$1.33 billion plus accrued interest, as ordered by US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa, the newspaper Página/12 wrote.
The paper also added that Argentina wanted to ask the mediator if there was a possibility of negotiating a deal to settle the claims of all holdouts, while ensuring it was not exposed to fresh lawsuits from the creditors who accepted the tough terms of its debt swaps in 2005 and 2010.
“We are going to listen to the mediator and we want to know if there is the possibility of a genuine negotiation or if the vultures expect the ruling to be carried out as it was dictated by Griesa,” an Economy Ministry source said.
Página/12 said the ministry had not excluded the possibility that Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, who has sealed many deals with foreign investors and creditors in recent months, could lead the delegation on Monday.
Pollack issued a statement on Thursday saying Argentina’s lawyers had confirmed its delegation would include Finance Secretary Pablo López, the Economy Ministry’s Legal and Technical Secretary Federico Thea, and Deputy Attorney of the Treasury Javier Pargament. Hours later, however, Kicillof told a news conference the composition of the team had not been decided.
Argentina has until the end of the month to strike a deal with hedge funds. If it fails, the country risks tumbling into its second sovereign debt crisis in 12 years. This would sap already-thin Central Bank reserves and prolong Argentina’s banishment from the global bond market just as the country needs foreign financing to rebuild its grain export infrastructure and develop its shale oil and gas sector.
All members of the Organization of American States (OAS), except for the United States and Canada, signed a statement on Thursday in support of Argentina’s stand on the case. Roberta Jacobson, US assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs, said the United States could not support the declaration as the issue was currently being discussed in court.
In their speeches at the OAS summit, Kicillof and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman criticized US President Barack Obama’s government for failing to support Argentina in its struggle against holdout hedge funds. At the same time, they asked the “international community” to implement “urgent solutions and not only issue statements”
Herald with Reuters