UPDATE 1-Argentina sees "better possibility" of holdout debt deal in 2015
(Adds ministry statement)
By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES Nov 3 (Reuters) - Chances of a deal to end Argentina's feud with holdout bond investors will improve in January when current restructuring rules expire, the economy minister said in comments published on Monday, raising some hopes for the country's stagnant economy.
The government is in a legal tussle with holders of defaulted debt who spurned two debt swaps and sued for full repayment. The dispute, along with heavy trade controls and high inflation, has hammered business confidence in Latin America's No. 3 economy as it staggers toward recession.
When it swapped 93 percent of its global bonds for new paper offering about 30 cents on the dollar in 2005 and 2010, Argentina included a clause saying no one would be offered a better restructuring deal. Argentina will be free of that clause in January.
"At the end of this year, when the instruments that the vulture funds have used for extortion disappear, there will be a better possibility of dialogue with creditors who opted to stay out of the restructurings," Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said in an interview with Mexico's left-leaning La Jornada newspaper.
Kicillof, one of President Cristina Fernandez's closest advisers, often calls the holdouts "vultures" and accuses them of trying to damage Argentina's economy in their pursuit of astronomical profits.
Late on Monday, the Argentine economy ministry published a statement clarifying "there has been no modification in the government's stance with regards to the situation with the holdouts". Its offer would still consist of a new debt swap with the same terms as the 2005 and 2010 ones, it said. The holdouts have consistently rejected such a deal. Continuación...