Argentine front-runner Scioli says holdouts not a priority

sábado 3 de octubre de 2015 11:26 GYT

* Scioli says offering better deal to creditors not high on agenda

* Poll shows could win Oct 25. election in first round

By Sarah Marsh

VILLA LA ÑATA, Argentina, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Argentina's presidential front-runner Daniel Scioli said improving an offer to creditors suing the country over defaulted bonds would not be a priority if he wins an Oct. 25 election.

Whoever succeeds outgoing President Cristina Fernandez will inherit Argentina's long battle with "holdout" investors who rejected its debt restructuring following a 2002 default to seek full repayment in the courts instead.

Under the outspoken leftist Fernandez, Argentina has refused to offer better terms to the litigating hedge funds it calls "vultures" than it did to those creditors who accepted steep writedowns in bond swaps.

"Argentina has shown willingness to pay and the capacity to do so, so we have to see now if they have the willingness to adapt themselves to what the world and Argentina is proposing," ruling party candidate Scioli said late on Friday on the sidelines of a boxing tournament in the sporting club he built near his home in Villa la Ñata.

An opinion poll published on Friday showed he may be able to win in the first round, after widening his lead over his closest rival Mauricio Macri.

Economists say whoever wins will need to seek a swift settlement with the holdouts in order to obtain cheaper financing. Yet all the leading candidates have been tight-lipped on the subject as to admit this would be politically dangerous.   Continuación...