WRAPUP 1-Argentina says it has no team for talks in debt battle
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By Alexandra Ulmer and Jorge Otaola
BUENOS AIRES, June 19 (Reuters) - Argentina hasn't prepared a team to go to New York to negotiate with holdout bondholders, Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said on Thursday, casting doubt over whether it will seek a deal to stave off a debt default.
His remark appeared to contradict the government's lawyer, Carmine Boccuzzi of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who said in federal court on Wednesday that Argentina would send officials to New York next week to seek negotiations with holdouts for the first time.
"There is no delegation prepared for a possible trip to the United States," Capitanich said in his morning briefing, although he also did not rule out negotiations.
A government source said later that Capitanich was referring to a lack of detail about who would travel and when, but that he wasn't saying talks wouldn't take place.
Argentina on Wednesday also said it couldn't afford to make its next bond payment, due June 30, if it had to pay the holdouts as well as the owners of its restructured bonds. Uncertainty about the government's strategy pushed Argentine stocks down about 3.5 percent in Thursday trading.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Argentina can't continue to pay creditors who agreed to restructure their bonds after its 2001-02 default on $100 billion in debt unless it also pays $1.33 billion to the holdouts demanding full payment.
President Cristina Fernandez's leftist government has until now refused to pay the holdouts and says the court rulings make it impossible to meet the next payment to holders of restructured debt. Continuación...