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The president also criticized the position of a part of the Argentinian business sector, which is opposed to affecting creditors.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez informed Saturday that talks with bondholders to restructure US$65 billion of the country’s foreign debt would continue with the two sides still deadlocked over what the final offer.
“The possibility of extending the offer continues until Monday, May 11,” the center-left leader wrote. “When this term expires we will define the steps to follow. As always, our goal is to make commitments that we can meet.”
Joined by his Minister of Economy Martin Guzman, Fernandez assured that “dialogue in good faith” with creditors continues with the aim of reaching a sustainable agreement after a deadline to do so expired on Friday.
The administration, which inherited the biggest foreign debt since the 1970s from right-wing Mauricio Macri’s government, had proposed a three-year payment hiatus, a major cut to coupon payments and pushing maturities on the bonds included back to 2030 and beyond on the foreign debt.
The main creditors, including U.S. funds BlackRock, Fidelity and T Rowe, rejected the government's offer. The deal is aimed at avoiding a default that would revive memories of an acrimonious, more than decade-long battle with creditors after a major default in 2001.
On Monday, creditors Ad Hoc Bondholder Group, Argentina Creditor Committee, and Ad Hoc Group of Argentina Exchange Bondholder also rejected Argentina's debt swap to restructure bonds issued under foreign law for US$66.2 billion.
Fernandez told a local radio station there could be counter-offers from creditors issued in the coming days after the deadline for accepting the government’s initial proposal expired on Friday. He indicated, however, that he was unlikely to shift his position much.
The president also criticized the position of a part of the Argentinian business sector, which is opposed to affecting creditors. "There is the painful part of the Argentinian business community, which says pay them at any price," he said, defining it as "a problem of culture, of a perverse culture from a part of the Argentinian business community."
Argentina faces a US$500 million interest payment on May 22 when a 30-day grace period expires, which if not met would tip the country into default.
The Argentinian president added in his radio interview that “nobody wants to default,” but that given the tough global situation, it was not only Argentina that faced the risk of missed payments.