UPDATE 5-Argentine debt talks end without deal as default looms
(Adds additional details on talks)
By Daniel Bases and Jorge Otaola
NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES, July 29 (Reuters) - Several hours of negotiations between Argentine officials and holdout investors ended without a resolution, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said in New York on Tuesday, just a day before the nation faces a possible default.
Kicillof left the meeting at the court-appointed mediator's office in Manhattan at about 11:20 p.m. EDT (0320 GMT), and though he said both sides would meet again Wednesday, the court-appointed mediator, Daniel Pollack, said in a statement that details of such a meeting had not yet been determined. If a deal is not reached, Argentina faces another default on its sovereign obligations.
"I cannot give information," Kicillof told reporters. "We are working."
Tuesday's meeting was historic in that it was the first time the opposing sides met for face-to-face talks. In a statement, Pollack said whether the parties will meet again Wednesday "remains to be determined overnight." Although the parties had a "frank exchange of views and concerns," the issues dividing them are still unresolved, he said.
NML Capital, a unit of Elliott Capital Management, and Aurelius Capital Management, the two hedge funds central to the legal battle, have said they are willing to negotiate a deal. They were awarded $1.33 billion, plus interest, by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa, who ordered Argentina to pay the holdouts at the same time as investors who agreed to restructurings in 2005 and 2010.
After a long battle in the U.S. courts, the South American nation is out of options: it has to either pay in full the hedge funds that rejected its restructuring on their defaulted bonds, cut a deal or win a stay of the court order that triggered the deadline.
According to bank sources and media, a group of private banks in Argentina is set to offer to put up $250 million as a guarantee to convince NML of Argentina's good faith and convince Griesa to reestablish the stay. Continuación...