Argentina Econ Minister to make key debt strategy speech later Tuesday

BUENOS AIRES, June 17 Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:30am EDT

BUENOS AIRES, June 17 (Reuters) - Economy Minister Axel Kicillof will announce later on Tuesday what Argentina will do following a major setback in its long-running legal battle against "holdout" investors.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Argentina's appeal over its battle with hedge funds that refused to take part in its debt restructurings. The court's decision was unexpected and risks toppling Latin America's No. 3 economy into a new default.

Kicillof will speak at 6 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said during his morning press conference.

President Cristina Fernandez said on Monday that Argentina would honor its payments to holders of its restructured debt and so avoid a default, but did not say how.

Most experts expect Argentina to seek out a negotiated agreement with holdout creditors.

The government likens the funds to vultures, and say they swooped in and snapped up dirt-cheap bonds after the catastrophic 2002 default that plunged millions of Argentines into poverty.

Holdouts, who declined to participate in two restructurings with other creditors, counter Argentina must pay up as per the original terms. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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