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Argentina’s economy minister joins debt talks

Economy minister joins debt talks

Argentina’s economy minister, Axel Kicillof, joined a meeting with a court-appointed mediator in New York as the country tries to resolve a dispute with holdout creditors before a bond-default deadline Wednesday.

Kicillof arrived about seven hours after an Argentine delegation led by Finance Secretary Pablo Lopez began meeting with mediator Daniel Pollack. Tuesday’s talks, the fifth with Pollack since a U.S. judge named him to the post in late June, lasted longer than all the previous meetings.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa blocked Argentina from making a June 30 debt payment because the country didn’t comply with a court ruling that it pay the holdout creditors at the same time. Those investors, led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, had refused to accept the terms of the country’s debt restructurings in 2005 and 2010.

If Argentina doesn’t pay the notes Wednesday by the end of a 30-day grace period, it will default for the second time since 2001, when it reneged on a record $95 billion of debt. This time Argentina stands to default on $29 billion of foreign currency, issued under international laws.

— Reuters

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