Argentina to Begin 'Substantive' Holdout Talks in Early January

  • Caputo and Quintana met with mediator in New York on Monday
  • Macri has said he intends to reach settlement with creditors

Argentina’s new government is planning to begin “substantive” talks with disgruntled creditors left over from the country’s decade-old debt dispute in early January, according to court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack.

Pollack said that he met Argentine Finance Secretary Luis Caputo and cabinet-vice chief Mario Quintana for an hour Monday, according to an e-mailed statement.

"The meeting was constructive, covering a range of issues, and it was agreed that they will return to New York City in the second week of January to commence substantive negotiations with the bondholders," Pollack said in the statement.

Mauricio Macri’s presidency is expected to mark a turning point in the debt saga that has kept Argentina ostracized from international capital markets since 2001 as he seeks a settlement. Macri named former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Alfonso Prat-Gay as his finance minister, who in turn tapped the 50-year-old Caputo, a former head of Deutsche Bank AG in Buenos Aires, to oversee the holdout debt issue and review financing options.

“We want the negotiations that are coming to be as quick as possible but also as tough as possible,” Prat-Gay said at his swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 11.

Argentina defaulted for a second time last year after then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner refused to abide by a U.S. court order to repay the creditors.

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