BUENOS AIRES, July 5 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, an Argentine daily wrote on Saturday, citing Economy
After a string of adverse U.S. court decisions, Argentina
has until the end of July to settle with a group of creditors
who refused to accept the terms of its restructurings following
its 2002 default on $100 billion of debt.
The government regularly denigrates them as vulture funds
circling the remains of the country's debt crisis, which pushed
millions of middle-class Argentines into poverty.
But if it fails to seal a deal with them, Argentina risks
tumbling into a fresh sovereign debt default at the same time as
it grapples with recession, one of the world's highest inflation
rates and dwindling foreign reserves.
The newspaper Pagina/12 wrote that Argentina's mission to
meet with mediator Daniel Pollack in New York wanted to check if
the holdouts would simply insist on being immediately paid the
full value of their bonds, namely $1.33 billion plus accrued
interest, as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Griesa.
"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 told Pagina/12.
The paper 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.
Argentina has previously said it cannot voluntarily offer
better terms for a restructuring with holdouts because of a
clause that expires on Dec. 31 designed to stop anyone getting a
better deal than bondholders who had already settled.
More than 92 percent of Argentina's investors received less
than one-third the original value of their bonds.
Pagina/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 government
officials ranked below Kicillof such as the secretary of
Hours later, however, Kicillof told a news conference the
composition of the team had not been decided.
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Maximilian Heath)