UPDATE 4-Argentina reaches cash deal with Italian creditors over defaulted debt
(Adds comments from Argentine finance secretary paragraphs 6-8)
By Richard Lough and Stefano Bernabei
BUENOS AIRES/ROME Feb 2 (Reuters) - Argentina has reached a deal to pay $1.35 billion in cash to a group of Italian creditors who hold unpaid sovereign debt stemming from the South American country's record default in 2002, the investors said on Tuesday.
The deal, which is subject to approval in Argentina's Congress, represents a payment of 150 percent on the $900 million principal value of the defaulted bonds.
"That means the entire nominal value plus 50 percent interest," Nicola Stock, president of Task Force Argentina which grouped together some 50,000 bondholders, told Reuters.
Even though newly elected President Mauricio Macri does not hold a majority in Congress, Stock said he expected lawmakers to greenlight the deal swiftly once it returns from recess in early March.
Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay earlier said the Italian investors' holdings accounted for 30 percent of all the debt that is subject to legal claims in a U.S. federal court and 15 percent of the defaulted debt that was not restructured in 2005 and 2010. Argentina defaulted on $100 billion of debt in 2002.
In New York, Argentine Finance Secretary Luis Caputo said mediated talks with New York hedge funds leading litigation in the U.S. courts for full payment were "making progress."
He said Argentina could make an offer to the funds on Wednesday or Thursday, though there are no signs a deal is close. Continuación...