Argentina government returns to New York for debt talks, bonds climb
By Daniel Bases and Richard Lough
NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES Feb 1 (Reuters) - Argentina's government returned to debt talks in New York on Monday, expecting to make an offer this week to U.S. creditors suing over unpaid bonds in a bid to resolve a decade-long stand-off that has locked the country out of global capital markets.
A Reuters witness saw Finance Secretary Luis Caputo enter the building that houses the office of mediator Daniel Pollack about one hour before Pollack himself arrived.
As Caputo headed into the make-or-break talks, Argentine bonds made fresh gains after the government secured a $5 billion bank load to bolster the central bank's foreign currency reserves.
"The bondholders will be here and Argentina will be here," Pollack told reporters on his way into his office to meet with Caputo.
Newly elected President Mauricio Macri told Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 22 that he wanted to find a fair agreement "early this year". He said the biggest sticking point was the issue of penalties on the defaulted bonds.
Investors question whether Macri will seal a deal before Argentina's Congress, which must approve any accord, returns in early March.
"In their minds, by the planned start of Congress they would have a resolution with the holdouts. I think they're now starting to have some doubts about whether it's going to be possible," said Alejo Costa, chief strategist at Buenos Aires-based investment bank Puente.
Even so, foreign investors remain optimistic of a deal this year. Continuación...