REFILE-Argentina mulls initial payment to holdout creditors, final deal in 2015-newspaper

domingo 22 de junio de 2014 13:57 GYT

(Refiles to fix typo in headline)

BUENOS AIRES, June 22 (Reuters) - Argentina is considering making an initial payment to "holdout" creditors before asking to extend negotiations to officially reach a settlement next January to avert a disastrous debt default, a leading local newspaper said on Sunday.

Argentina has been locked for more than a decade in a fight in U.S. courts with creditors who refuse to accept a 2005 and 2010 revamp of debt securities and demand to be repaid in full.

La Nacion newspaper cited unnamed government officials as saying President Cristina Fernandez was considering paying these holdout creditors between $300 million and $400 million as a sign of good faith.

"The initial sum would be equivalent to a 65 percent reduction compared with what was paid to restructured bondholders who entered the 2005 and 2010 swaps," La Nacion quoted a government official as saying.

The Argentine government would then seek to extend negotiations and in 2015 to clinch a payment deal in the form of long-term bonds, similar to deals reached with the Paris Club or Spain's Repsol, the paper added.

The government was not immediately available for comment. Such a plan could only work with the agreement of the hedge funds who demand full payment and of the U.S. judge hearing the case, and that is far from guaranteed.

Lawyers representing Argentina have said officials will travel to the United States this week for negotiations.

U.S. courts have ruled that Argentina cannot 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.   Continuación...