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Argentina agrees $190 million more in default settlement -mediator
March 9, 2016 / 10:29 PM / a year ago

Argentina agrees $190 million more in default settlement -mediator

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - Argentina settled with an additional seven creditors holding defaulted sovereign bonds for $190 million, Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the long-running case said in a statement on Wednesday.

Pollack's announcement brings the total amount of settlements agreed in principle with U.S. creditors to more than $6.4 billion.

It brings Latin America's No. 3 economy closer to curing its historic default. Argentina is in desperate need of fresh capital to fund economic growth projects and untwist economic policies implemented because the legal cases blocked it from accessing international capital markets.

Pollack was named Special Master in the case by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in 2014 in order to facilitate a negotiated settlement.

Since the election of President Mauricio Macri in November, Argentina has moved swiftly to settle the long-standing debt dispute, mainly with U.S.-based hedge funds that sued in federal court for full payment on sovereign bonds defaulted upon in early 2002.

On Feb. 2 it reached $1.35 billion agreement to settle with a group of Italian investors, as many as 50,000 bondholders, who held defaulted bonds.

On Feb. 5 it committed to spending $6.5 billion in order to settle more than $9 billion worth of claims in the U.S. courts before Griesa. So far it has agreements from more than 85 percent of remaining holdouts.

It reached agreement in principle with four major U.S. holdout creditors on Feb. 29. Barring a disagreement over technical terms, and the possibility the deal falls apart, Argentina should be able to come back as planned to the international capital markets in mid-April.

"All such settlements are subject to two conditions: first, the lifting of the Lock Law and the Sovereign Payment Law by the Congress of Argentina, and second, the lifting of the Injunction by Judge Griesa," Pollack said.

A bill addressing the conditions to end the dispute cleared its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday when an Argentine Congressional committee sent the measure to the full house of representatives.

Argentina plans to sell three bonds for a total of $11.68 billion in mid-April in order to pay the creditors in cash. (Reporting by Daniel Bases; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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