JPMorgan Said to Have Talked With Argentina Holdouts

JPMorgan Chase & Co. met with holders of Argentina’s defaulted bonds yesterday to discuss buying the securities in a transaction that would allow the South American country to resume paying interest on restructured notes, according to a bank official familiar with the plan.

The talks, which also involve other banks potentially interested in a deal, are ongoing, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Buenos Aires-based newspaper Ambito reported today that banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup Inc. were in discussions to buy the notes from Elliott Management Corp. and other holders that won a court order for full repayment on the debt.

The nation missed a deadline yesterday to pay $539 million in interest, falling into default after two days of negotiations in New York failed to produce an accord with Elliott, Aurelius Capital Management LP and other creditors from its last default in 2001. Aurelius said in a statement that while it has been approached by private parties seeking a deal, no agreement has been reached.

“Aurelius has received no such proposal that we considered worthy of serious consideration,” the firm said. “Much of what we have read in the press about such approaches has been, as far as we are aware, inaccurate or unreliable.”

(Corrects second paragraph to show that Ambito reported that holdout creditors were in talks with banks.)
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