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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Argentina placed into ‘default’ rating as debt deal deadline expires


Argentina’s credit rating was downgraded to “selective default” by Standard & Poor’s as the South American country missed Wednesday’s deadline for a grace period during ongoing negotiations with holdout debt holders.

Wednesday is the cutoff for Argentina to make good on a $539 million payment to bondholders, which was placed on hold by a US judge’s order tying that payment to ongoing litigation by vulture funds which refused the country’s original cents-on-the-dollar debt restructuring offer. 

Analysts generally do not believe that a default by Argentina will have the same consequences as in 2001. 

“An Argentina default is expected to be short-lived at this point and shouldn’t have any major implication for the country,” said Mauro Roca to Bloomberg, a senior Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs in New York. 

“There’s the expectation that a deal with holdouts will be worked out soon.”
The country’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof arrived in New York this week to engage in negotiations with holdout creditors. The talks have been overseen by a mediator appointed by the US judge who placed its payment on hold. 

Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday evening Kicillof told reporters that the so-called vulture funds had refused a new offer proposed by Argentina. 

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