(Adds new quote, Pena not reachable for comment, context)
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Argentina does not expect to make an offer to U.S. hedge funds suing over unpaid debt when negotiations resume in New York on Wednesday, the daily La Nacion quoted the country’s cabinet chief as saying.
“We don’t plan to make an offer,” Cabinet Chief Marcos Pena told La Nacion. “This is a preliminary conversation.”
Pena’s office said he was in a meeting and not available to comment.
The funds, led by billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, are suing Argentina for full repayment of debt the country defaulted on in 2002. A large majority of creditors accepted about 30 cents on the dollar in 2005 and 2010 restructurings.
Finance Secretary Luis Caputo was to fly to New York later on Monday and was expected to meet with representatives of the so-called “holdout” funds in the office of the U.S. court-appointed mediator brokering the negotiations.
President Mauricio Macri, who took office on Dec. 10, faces a hard currency crunch and needs to resolve the decade-long legal battle to restore investor confidence and regain access to global credit markets. But he has promised Argentines he will haggle hard.
“All our problems shouldn’t rush us into making concrete advances,” Pena was quoted as saying.
Negotiations between the funds and former President Cristina Fernandez collapsed in July 2014, leading Argentina to fall back into default. Fernandez called the holdouts “vultures” bent on crippling the country’s economy in their pursuit of profit. (Reporting by Richard Lough and Maximiliano; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)