UPDATE 1-Investors cheer Argentina's swift offer to holdouts
(Adds Argentina finance minister, paragraphs 6-7)
By Richard Lough and Daniel Bases
BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK Feb 6 (Reuters) - Investors on Saturday praised the speed with which new Argentine President Mauricio Macri made a cash offer to holders of defaulted bonds aimed at ending a long and bitter dispute that has strangled government finances.
A financial markets pariah since defaulting on a record $100 billion in 2002, Argentina proposed on Friday a $6.5 billion payment to settle the legal battle and said two of the leading six "holdouts" in the case had already accepted the discounted terms.
"We're very encouraged by the pace with which Argentina is finally resolving the outstanding disputes with all of its holdouts," said Shahriar Shahida, co-chief investment officer at New York-based Constellation Capital Management, which holds Argentine securities.
"We're hopeful this government will have a much more conciliatory relationship with all of its creditors," Shahida said.
As Macri sought to woo multinational chief executives gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, the center-right leader told Reuters he wanted a "fair agreement" with the bondholders early this year.
Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said negotiations were continuing with creditors still pushing for an improved deal. They include billionaire Paul Singer's Elliott Management and Aurelius Capital Management.
"There might be a chance that in the next few days they come on board," Prat-Gay told Radio Mitre. "They're looking at the offer. They've been getting closer to our position." Continuación...