Argentina looks set to default on its debt for the second time in 12 years next Thursday as negotiations with “holdout” investors seemingly go nowhere and neither side shows signs of blinking first, though a last minute deal can’t be discounted.
Latin America’s No. 3 economy has for years fought the holdout hedge funds which snapped up its junk bonds after its $100 billion default in 2002 and then refused the restructuring terms, suing for repayment in full.
But time is up. After a slew of legal setbacks for Argentina in U.S. courts, the country has just days to comply with a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa to pay $1.33 billion plus interest to the funds it calls “vultures.”
If the deadlock persists, Griesa will prevent Argentina from making a July 30 deadline for a coupon payment on exchanged bonds, triggering a new default just as the economy struggles with recession, dwindling reserves and soaring inflation.