Argentina reaches deals with more holdout creditors

[NEW YORK] Argentina reached repayment deals with more holdout creditors on Wednesday as it seeks to close the door on 15 years of litigation over its defaulted bonds.

Daniel Pollack, the New York court-appointed arbitrator in cases involving some US$9 billion in claims against the country, said settlement agreements were struck with hedge fund GMO (Boston), French bank BNP Paribas, and a number of individual investors worth a total of US$190 million.

That took to more than US$6.5 billion the amount Argentina has agreed to pay holdout creditors covered by the Pollack-led negotiations.

It was not clear how much more have not been addressed. Breaking with years of refusal by Buenos Aires to repay the holdout bondholders, at the beginning of February the new government of President Mauricio Macri offered US$6.5 billion to resolve their claims of US$9 billion.

The holdouts are the minority of creditors which refused to go along with the restructuring of the country's debt after it defaulted on nearly US$100 billion in 2001.

The main holdouts were hedge funds which bought up the defaulted debt at steep discounts aiming to recover the full value, and in 2012 the New York federal district court ruled in their favour.

Since then the country has been mostly locked out of global capital markets and Mr Macri, tasked with reviving the Argentine economy, has vowed to pay off the creditors and move forward.

"Both the range and diversity of these settlements are encouraging to me," said Mr Pollack.

The settlements remain contingent on the Argentine Congress cancelling laws that prevent repayment of the holdouts.


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