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US judge orders new talks on Argentina debt dispute

Published on Aug 2, 2014 6:21 AM
People line up to enter the US Federal Courthouse on Aug 1, 2014 in New York where they will continue with litigation into the Argentinian debt. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW YORK (AFP) - The US judge presiding over Argentina's bitter dispute with two hedge funds left the country stranded in default on Friday, ordering it to hold new negotiations and calling for an end to "mistrust." Despite fighting tooth-and-nail, Buenos Aires has been unable to find a way around District Judge Thomas Griesa's ruling in favor of the hedge funds, which has blocked it from making payments to other creditors who agreed to take a 70 per cent write-down after the country's 2001 economic crisis.

It missed a US$539 million (S$ 671.5 million) payment due Wednesday after 11th-hour talks failed to break the impasse with the two American hedge funds, which refuse to accept a write-down.

Judge Griesa, who has blocked Argentina from servicing its restructured debt without also repaying the hedge funds the full US$1.3 billion it owes them, ordered the litigants to hold new talks.

"Let's go back to work," Judge Griesa said at a hearing in New York, the first since Argentina went into default.

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