(Recasts with statements from ministry, mediator)
By Daniel Bases and Sarah Marsh
NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES, July 7 Argentina's
economy minister on Monday told a mediator in the country's
dispute with holdout investors that the U.S. court ruling
against the country is "impossible" to fulfill and a stay is
necessary in order to reach a solution for all creditors.
The country needs to make a deal with the holdouts who
rejected debt restructurings after its 2002 default if it is to
avoid a new default just as it struggles with recession and
Kicillof spent four hours hashing through the case in New
York on Monday with the special master, Daniel Pollack, who was
appointed by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa to find common
ground in the years-long dispute.
The minister re-iterated that Argentina could not carry out
Griesa's ruling to immediately pay $1.33 billion plus accrued
interest to the group of holdouts led by Elliott Management Corp
and Aurelius Capital Management, according to a ministry
He also underscored, however, that Argentina was committed
to continue negotiating to find a just solution for all
creditors. For this purpose, Kicillof had made clear "it was
necessary to reinstate the stay given that the case involved not
just the litigators but could also be extended to all the
creditors who did not join the swaps," the ministry said.
More than seven percent of Argentina's investors did not
accept the tough terms of its debt swaps in 2005 and 2010.
Reuters could not reach holdout investors for reaction to
Kicillof has sealed deals with the Paris Club of creditor
nations and Spanish oil major Repsol in the last few months in a
bid to attract investment back to Argentina and regain access to
global capital markets.
On Monday, he elbowed his way through a gaggle of at least
50 reporters after meeting with Pollack without commenting on
the talks, before flying back the same night to Argentina.
Pollack said in a separate statement he had also met with
representatives of holdouts last week and both they and
Argentina had "indicated an intention to continue meeting."
Argentina attempted to pay bondholders who participated in
its debt swaps a regularly scheduled coupon payment due at the
end of June, in defiance of Griesa's order that Argentina could
not service its restructured debt without paying holdouts.
The judge ordered that the funds deposited at the Bank of
New York Mellon's account at the Central Bank of Argentina
should be returned to the South American nation.
If a deal is not worked out by July 30 and Argentina does
not make a payment it will be considered to have defaulted for a
second time in 12 years.
(Additional eporting by Alejandro Lifschitz and Jorge Otaola in
Buenos Aires and Nate Raymond and Rodrigo Campos in New York;
Editing by James Dalgleish, W Simon and Andrew Hay)