Argentina, Bond Holdouts Said at Odds Over Disclosure Agreement

Holders of Argentina’s defaulted debt from 2001 are clashing with the nation’s government over a non-disclosure agreement officials are refusing to sign during renewed talks to resolve the decade-old litigation, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Finance Secretary Luis Caputo and holdout creditors, led by hedge fund Elliott Management, met in New York on Wednesday for the first time since President Mauricio Macri took office last month pledging to resolve the dispute. Caputo told reporters the government was "satisfied" with the meeting and would submit a settlement proposal during the week of Jan. 25. The holdouts were also expected to present their proposal in the same week, according to a statement by the Economy Ministry on Wednesday.

Such a timeline is now at risk as the holdouts won’t submit their proposal until Argentine officials sign a standard non-disclosure agreement, according to one of the people who participated in the meeting. The document would prevent the parties from publicizing details of the plans before an agreed-upon time.

Caputo told court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack, who hosted the talks at his office in Manhattan, that any settlement offer presented by Argentina will be public, in a bid to promote transparency in the process, according to an Economy Ministry press official.

Holders of more than $8 billion in claims on defaulted debt met with Caputo on Wednesday, according to one of the people.

Stephen Spruiell, a spokesman for billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott, declined to comment on the talks, as did Pollack.

The litigation involving the defaulted debt has prevented Argentina from tapping international bond markets for more than 14 years, and triggered a second default in 2014 after former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner rebuffed court orders to pay the holdouts.

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