Argentina Mediator Meets With Government Officials, Elliott

Representatives for Argentina and holders of the nation’s defaulted bonds from 2001 met yesterday in New York with court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack, who said no resolution was reached.

Jay Newman and Lee Grinberg, money managers at Elliott Management Corp., the hedge fund owned by billionaire Paul Singer, were seen leaving Pollack’s offices in midtown Manhattan shortly after Argentine officials. While both sides presented arguments to Pollack, they didn’t do so in each other’s presence, he said in a statement yesterday.

“No resolution has been reached,” said Pollack. “It is my hope that there will be future dialogue.”

Argentine dollar bonds due 2033 rallied the most in 19 months last week on speculation the nation is making progress to resolve a conflict with holdout creditors that is blocking payments on its restructured debt. The country will be in default if President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s administration doesn’t reach a settlement by July 30, the end of a 30-day grace period.

“We have not seen any indication that Argentina is serious about even beginning a negotiation,” NML, a unit of Elliott, said in an e-mailed statement released after the talks yesterday. “Argentina is still refusing to negotiate with its creditors, either directly or indirectly, about any aspect of this dispute, and we have not heard that it has any plans to change course.”

Legal Battle

The legal battle stems from Argentina’s record $95 billion default in 2001. The nation restructured about 92 percent of the debt in 2005 and 2010 by imposing discounts of about 70 percent. Creditors including Elliott shunned the debt swaps to seek better terms through litigation.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month left intact a decision that bars Argentina from paying restructured debt unless holders of defaulted bonds are paid in full. A U.S. judge blocked a $539 million coupon payment on June 27.

In their second meeting with Pollack last week, Argentine officials told the mediator a delay on the orders is necessary for talks as the ruling will trigger $15 billion in additional claims from other bondholders. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof met with Pollack earlier in the week without the holdouts in attendance.

“Argentina is open to continuing a dialogue that allows it to reach a solution in fair, equal, and legal conditions for 100 percent of bondholders,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement released after the talks yesterday.

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