Date
20 November 2017
Argentina's Axel Kicillof speaks to reporters as he arrives for a meeting with a court-appointed mediator in New York on Wednesday. Buenos Aires is struggling to avert a debt default. Photo: Bloomberg
Argentina's Axel Kicillof speaks to reporters as he arrives for a meeting with a court-appointed mediator in New York on Wednesday. Buenos Aires is struggling to avert a debt default. Photo: Bloomberg

Argentina close to debt default as talks collapse

Argentina teetered on the brink of its second debt default in 13 years after talks with bondholders collapsed late Wednesday, Wall Street Journal reported.

At a news conference after talks with a court-appointed mediator ended Wednesday, Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof was quoted as saying that the government “won’t sign an agreement that would compromise Argentina’s future.”

A spokeswoman later said negotiations would continue, without giving a timetable.

Argentina has been locked in a long battle with a small group of hedge funds that have demanded full payment for bonds the country defaulted on previously in 2001.

Buenos Aires has refused to pay, despite an order by a US District Court judge requiring it to pay the hedge funds. The issue came to a head Wednesday as Argentina missed a deadline to make a payment it owed to other bondholders, because the court order had prevented such a move.

A default would pressure an economy already mired in recession, potentially leading to higher inflation and a weaker currency, the Journal noted. 

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RC

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