Gesamtzahl der Seitenaufrufe

Dienstag, 25. März 2014



Today is the day for filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in NML v. Argentina (pari passu case).

Pari Passu VIPs and Mexico's CAC Gravitas

posted by Anna Gelpern
Today is the day for filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in NML v. Argentina (pari passu case). Brazil, France, Mexico, the Jubilee Network and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz are all asking the court to take the case. Others will doubtless come in on all sides; then the court might ask for the United States to say something ... it's a long story; stay tuned.
For now, I only highlight Mexico's priceless intervention against the courts' misuse of Collective Action Clauses (CACs)  in the pari passu argument. Recall that according to the Second Circuit, NML v. Argentina has no policy significance because CACs can be used since 2003 to bind holdouts in a sovereign debt restructuring. No holdouts, no lawsuits, no pari passu. This happens to be completely wrong because CACs specifically provide for dissent and mechanisms to hold out, and because not all debt instruments have CACs.
It is one thing for me to rant about it--but Mexico has unique credibility on CACs. In February 2003, Mexico spearheaded the very market shift in New York on which the court relies to make its totally wrong statement. And this amicus is not shy about its special status:
Mexico is thus well positioned to disagree with a stated foundation for the Court’s reasoning: that contract provisions in sovereign debt instruments known as “collective action clauses,” or “CACs,” will limit the decision’s ramifications to Argentina alone. CACs permit a specified majority of bondholders to adjust the terms of sovereign bonds. While Mexico adopted CACs for its own external debt instruments in 2003, and was the first nation to do so in the modern era, Mexico also understands that CACs have clear limitations and will not eliminate the threat to orderly debt restructuring engendered by the decision below. In addition, Mexico—like other nations—has legacy debt obligations with no CAC protection at all.
Now, whether any of this adds up to review and reversal is another story ...

darauf warte ich.....

dein alter Bekannter Carl Moses setzt aus das Auslaufen des Riegelgesetzes nächstes Jahr:

Sollte es Argentinien indes gelingen, den Rechtsstreit bis zum Ende des Jahres 2014 hinauszuziehen, würde sich seine Verhandlungsposition deutlich verbessern. Denn dann läuft eine Klausel der Umschuldungsverträge aus, die Argentinien verpflichtet, bei einer Nachbesserung seines Angebots gegenüber einem Gläubiger auch alle anderen Gläubiger entsprechend besserzustellen. Nach Verfall dieser Klausel könnte Argentinien Einzelverhandlungen mit den Umschuldungsverweigerern führen, ohne Rückwirkungen auf die bereits umgeschuldeten Anleihen befürchten zu müssen.

Mittwoch, 19. März 2014

Debt Coverage: Telam: “After meeting with Cristina, Hollande announces that France “will support” Argentina with the Paris Club” Forbes: “Is Argentina Paying For Amicus Briefs In Foreign Debt Case Before U.S. Supreme Court?” Clarin: “French support on the Paris Club and the lawsuit with the vulture funds” Buenos Aires Herald: “Argentina secures France support in Paris Club negotiations”

After meeting with Cristina, Hollande announces that France “will support” Argentina with the Paris Club
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
After an almost two hour private meeting with the head of State, the French President said at a joint press conference that his country "will support" Argentina in its negotiations to cancel the debt that remains with the Paris Club. Cristina invited him to travel to the country to "strengthen ties". The President meet him on the fourth day of her European tour.
The President also highlighted the decision by France to act as "amicus curiae" in the trial that Argentina maintains with the holdouts (known as vulture funds), who demand that they be paid on debt bonds at the nominal price and not the price that was paid to 93 percent of the creditors who agreed to the swap.
"It is important for the developed countries that emerging countries can get out of debt to grow and strengthen our trade and thus be able to honor our debts,” said the Argentine Head of State in a statement to the press that she shared with Hollande at the Elysee Palace, seat of the French Government.
Cristina meets with Hollande
The President, who tomorrow will participate in the inauguration of the Book Salon where Argentina is a special guest, expressed her thanks within this framework for both decisions from France, the on one being an amicus curiae in the case of the holdouts and the other regarding support for the Argentine position in the Paris Club.
"Holdouts are trying to bring down an agreement which 93 percent of creditors signed on to and that is important not only for Argentina but for the whole world, since it could become a test case. If the position of a small financial group based in tax havens, who pay no taxes, is to triumph,  we would be in the midst of a moral and political scandal,” said the President (CFK).
Cristina said that the fact of allowing Argentina to honor its debt "is not only beneficial for Argentina, but also for European companies that will again have credit from their national agencies to invest, create jobs and contribute to the growth of their companies and of global economic activity.”
Minutes earlier, President Hollande had said that his country "will support" Argentina in its negotiations to pay off the debt that remains with the Paris Club and that "Argentina is managing to get out of their financial straits.”
Even Hollande pointed out that the fact that Argentina normalizing its situation with the creditors of the Paris Club "also corresponds to our interests, because it will allow us to have a greater flow of trade" with Argentina.
Cristina also highlighted bilateral trade with France and said that in 2003 there was a 300 million dollar surplus for the Argentina, and today it is 2.6 billion dollars, with a surplus of 1.6 billion for France.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
By Rich Samp
In a last-ditch effort to stave off defeat in its long-running battle with bondholders who want to be paid, Argentina in February asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal from an adverse appeals court decision.  It is now busy trying to line up amici curiae (“friends of the court”) to file supporting briefs with the High Court.  The deadline for filing amicus briefs is next Monday, and a number of groups and foreign countries have given official notice of their intent to file briefs in support of Argentina.
However, there are some indications that Argentina has paid for one or more of the anticipated amicus filings.  The Supreme Court takes a dim view of that practice; it wants each amicus filer to truly be a “friend of the court,” not a “friend of a party.”  The Court does not strictly prohibit the filing of amicus briefs that have been paid for by a party.  But it requires that the fact of payment be explicitly disclosed in the opening footnote of the amicus brief.
Lawyers who practice regularly before the Court know that a disclosure of payment in Footnote 1 is a black mark; the Court is unlikely to pay much attention to a paid-for brief.  The justices view such briefs as simply a second brief from one of the parties, an effort to evade the strict word limit that the Court imposes on parties’ briefs.
French support on the Paris Club and the lawsuit with the vulture funds
President Hollande received Cristina in Paris.  After a luncheon, the President (CFK) thanked him for France’s support so that “we could get out of debt and grow.”  And she reaffirmed Argentina’s claim on the Malvinas.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
by María Laura Avignolo
At the end of the meeting between the Presidents of France and Argentina, Francois Hollande said that his country "will support" Argentina in its negotiations to pay off the debt that remains with the Paris Club.
"Argentina is coming out of their financial straits," said Hollande in a conference together with Cristina and added that this support for Argentina before the Paris Club "also corresponds to our interests, because it will allow us to have a greater flow of trade".
Meanwhile, the Argentine President thanked him for the invitation to the book fair in France and highlighted the "intense cultural, political and historical relationship” with that European country.
She said that French support for negotiations with the Paris Club will allow that "we can get out of debt to grow" and also highlighted: "I want to give thanks for the decision by France to file before the Court on the vulture fund holdouts,” who she accused of "attempting to pull down Argentina's debt swap agreement.”
Then she said that Argentina "has become an oil country" and didn’t fail to tell Hollande: "I have a filmmaker daughter who loves French cinema.”
In addition, they said that in Paris today they discussed issues related to the international situation, with regard to Syria, Lebanon and Ukraine.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner came out today in favor of having "the respect of territorial integrity be applied to everyone," after the meeting that she held with her French counterpart, Francois Hollande. In a joint statement to the press, the President said that "the Ukraine issue should be resolved in a climate of political negotiation and within the framework of the peace" and, in that context, introduced the Malvinas issue and said that Argentina "is suffering from  territorial encroachment by the United Kingdom in the Falkland Islands".
"However, the great powers have rallied in favor of the referendum that the kelpers have held and which lacks any value. If no value was given to the one held in Crimea, a few kilometers from Russia, much less one in an overseas colony more than 13 thousand miles away", she concluded.
Buenos Aires Herald
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In Paris, where she met with her French counterpart Francois Hollande for almost two hours, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner praised the decision by the European nation to file and amicus curiae brief, or friend-of-the-court brief, before of the US Supreme Court, in a show of support to Argentina in its long-standing battle against creditors that refused to accept the South American country’s debt swap. CFK also secured the support of the French government to settle a 9 billion dollars dispute with the Paris Club.
Paris Club and vulture funds
“What would happen in the case of countries with mile-high debt levels, (with) groups that reside in tax havens, that don’t even pay taxes in their own countries? It will be a real moral and political scandal,” President Kirchner said while addressing the international press in Paris today along with France’s Hollande.
The head of state accused a “group” of creditors of seeking to “knock down an agreement reached with 93 percent of (Argentina’s) creditors.” “A minimum part (of bondholders) that accounts for 1.3 billion dollars, threats to knock down one of the most important agreements ever,” CFK affirmed.

he former Florida lawmaker’s first post-congressional lobbying client, American Task Force Argentina, is tied to New York venture capitalist Paul Singer, whose firm’s employees contributed heavily to Mack’s unsuccessful 2012 Senate campaign. The task force has aggressively pursued payment from Argentina since the country’s 2001 debt default.

Congressman-turned-lobbyist Connie Mack is taking up a cause close to him — for a fee.
The former Florida lawmaker’s first post-congressional lobbying client, American Task Force Argentina, is tied to New York venture capitalist Paul Singer, whose firm’s employees contributed heavily to Mack’s unsuccessful 2012 Senate campaign. The task force has aggressively pursued payment from Argentina since the country’s 2001 debt default.
As USA TODAY has previously reported, Mack championed the issue in Congress.  In November 2012 — after the elections — a House subcommittee headed by the Florida Republican approved a measure to force Argentina to repay U.S. investors billions in principal and interest.
Singer, who is among American Task Force Argentina’s backers, has been a prominent figure in the efforts to recover the funds. Argentina owes his companies more than $1 billion, according to court records. His quest for full repayment gained international attention in 2012 when his hedge fund, Elliott Management, got the government of Ghana to seize an Argentine naval vessel docked there.
Elliott Management employees donated $39,000 to Mack’s failed campaign for the Senate, the biggest bundle of contributions to Mack from a single firm’s employees.
Mack’s Florida-based firm, Mack Strategies, formally registered to lobby on behalf of the task force last week and indicated that he would continue to work on the international financial tug-of-war, specifically pushing a bill to “hold medium and wealthy nations accountable for the repayments of their debts to U.S. creditors.”
Mack’s new lobbying client was first reported by The Hill newspaper.
Under a one-year cooling-off period for former House members, Mack could not register as a lobbyist before January. His filing indicates he began working on the group’s behalf Jan. 28.
He does not have to disclose how much he is earning from the task force until later this year. (Last year, the group spent more than $1 million on federal lobbying, according to a tally by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.)
Mack did not immediately return a telephone call.

Lead Articles: El Cronista: “Vulture funds: Argentina ratifies its position” Telam: “The government will maintain its posture in the lawsuits with the vulture funds” El Cronista: “A proposal for the Paris Club: swap of debt for technology” Clarin: “A difficult time for a walking trip”

El Cronista
Vulture funds: Argentina ratifies its position

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich yesterday ratified that “Argentina is maintaining its position” in the courts of the United States in the dispute with the vulture funds.

Capitanich insisted that Argentina is holding to its posture of arguing the principle of sovereign immunity in the litigation with the holdouts in the courts of the United States and thereby continues to reject the rulings from lower court judges.  

“For the moment, Argentina is maintaining its clear position with respect to the recognition of the principle of sovereign immunity and on what we warned in the courts about the interpretation of the pari passu clause (equal treatment of creditors),” said Capitanich to the press in the Economy Ministry.

The Cabinet Chief added that as a consequence, “we understand that (the interpretation) is incorrect on the part of the courts of New York.”

He added that “the Argentine position is that we have put forth a sovereign debt restructuring in the framework of what the Constitution says and in virtue of that, we maintain our position.”

Argentina hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court will accept review of the lower court rulings that order the country to pay US$1.3 billion to holdouts.

Capitanich spoke with journalists accredited by the Palacio de Hacienda after participating in an event in which he signed a price agreement for construction materials with the province of Formosa, and on vacant lots with Chaco.  

“Ninety-three percent of the public debt is duly normalized, 7% is in a condition of non-compliance for multiple reasons.  There is a part that is in litigation in the New York courts and now in the phase of likely acceptance from the U.S. Supreme Court,” Capitanich recalled when asked by the press about Argentina’s position before the claims of the holdouts.

The government will maintain its posture in the lawsuits with the vulture funds

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich confirmed that “Argentina maintains its position” before the U.S> courts in the dispute it has with vulture funds.

“Ninety-three percent of the public debt is duly normalized, 7% is in a condition of non-compliance for multiple reasons.  There is a part that is in litigation in the New York courts and now in the phase of likely acceptance from the U.S. Supreme Court,” Capitanich recalled when asked by the press about Argentina’s position before the claims of the holdouts.

After the meeting in which he signed an agreement with vacant lots from the province of Chaco under the framework of “Precios Cuidados” (cared-for prices), the Cabinet Chief highlighted that “for the moment, Argentina is maintaining its clear position with respect to the recognition of the principle of sovereign immunity and on what we warned in the courts about the interpretation of the pari passu clause,” known as “equal treatment” among those that entered the debt swaps and those that did not.  

"We understand that (the interpretation of pari passu) is incorrect on the part of the courts of New York.  As a consequence of that, the Argentine position is that we have put forth a sovereign debt restructuring in the framework of what the Constitution says and in virtue of that, we maintain our position,” he emphasized.

El Cronista
A proposal for the Paris Club: swap of debt for technology  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

by Pablo Monat, Businessman and university professor  

The government has initiated a new outreach to the Debtors Club grouped in the Paris Club to normalize the payment of debt that Argentina has with its members and that is in default since 2001 (some US$10 billion between principal and interest owed and/or penalties).  

I understand that an imaginative structure for a form of payment could be used as a catalyst for advanced innovative technology.  Despite government efforts and those of certain national companies that promote innovation through investments in R&D, the country is far from being an innovator on the point of new technologies, except for notable exceptions.

The proposal is to make what financiers call a ‘debt to equity’ swap, which means converting a small part of the debt (we’d say 2%, or US$200 million) in capital whose holders will be Argentina’s creditor governments (mostly Germany, Japan, the U.S., Holland and Spain).  This US$200 million would be destined to form 10 venture capital funds (US$20 million each) co-managed by risk-capital funds with international trajectory together with national risk capitalists that will co-invest in “start-ups” and Argentine tech companies with global projection.

The proposal aims to remedy two 'strategic failures' in the national innovation system. The first, the lack of creation of companies designed to be global ('born global'). This is despite the high Argentine propensity to create new companies (which in financial jargon are called 'start-ups') which places Argentina at the top of entrepreneurship. But few or none of them are designed or intended to be global players, which Endeavor, a foundation dedicated to promote entrepreneurship, calls 'high-impact entrepreneurs'. This part of the swapped debt will go towards collaboration between Argentine and foreign universities, creating training programs for entrepreneurs who acquire the knowledge, skills and contacts to navigate the waters of the global technological ocean.

The second failure corresponds to the meager size of the Argentine venture capital industry. Although local data is scarce, according to an article at the end of last year in the weekly magazine Apertura, Silvia Torres Carbonell, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship from IAE and an academic in that think tank, points out that the funds available in Argentina total US$60 million from three venture capital firms. This contrasts, says Torres Carbonell, with, for example, "the VC market in Chile comprising 21 funds, which together have US$410 million in capital." That in an economy whose GDP is little more than half of Argentina’s, which shows our relative backwardness in the area.

These numbers pale in comparison to the world leader in VC investment – the United States, where venture capital investments according to the National Venture Capital Association totaled the extraordinary number of US$ 20 billion in 2013 alone. In that country, the names of companies that were started with a VC contribution (generally modest) are astonishing. Giants in the field of semiconductors such as Intel or Cisco, signatures hardware makers such as Apple, of software and internet like Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Ebay and Facebook, or firms that innovated the way of doing things in business such as Federal Express or Starbucks. The list continues, and VC continues to venture into new technologies such as biotechnology, renewable energy, or the promising nanotechnology.

Faced with the growing interdependence of global innovation technological systems, the importance of developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem of high global quality is obvious. This together with a venture capital sector agreeing to accompany its growth through financing.  Both are strategic sectors for quality economic growth, and for transforming Argentina into an innovative economy, and one that is inserted into the creation of scientific knowledge that is applied to global technology companies. A creative negotiation with the Paris Club allows us to think that this can become a reality.

A difficult time for a walking trip  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

by Eduardo Van Der Kooy

Cristina Fernández wasn’t fortunate when she chose this moment to leave her isolation and show herself again, after a long time, before the world.  She had to listen from the mouth of Francis the recurring references to the need for social inclusion.  According to the Pope’s thinking, that problem is directly linked to crime, drug trafficking and the unemployment of millions of young people.  The President couldn’t make a fuss, therefore, about the presumed benefits of the economic model that are part of her domestic narrative.

She could only listen and share.  

Cristina will meet today in Paris with French President Francois Hollande. The Socialist leader is going through a period of low popularity, worsened by economic problems and his indiscreet amorous foibles.  The President will have a hard time, as she has in other occasions in which she cast her shadow over Planet Earth, to now give lectures about how to combine growth with inclusion.  Growth is a thing of the past, inclusion only seen in the reports from INDEC and, out of necessity, the government started to straighten out the inflation rate that has been hidden since 2007.  In reality, it has only been straightened out for two months.  

In 60 days it has accumulated 7%.  A bad omen for the year.  

The rest has been shelved for now.  

There will be no flourish of numbers in front of Hollande.  

That contact with the French leader is needed for other reasons.  The model is treading water and the government has to carry out some duties for some coins to drop down from the financial markets into its hands in the future.  To settle the debt with the  Paris Club (US$6 billion) is one of those obligations.  First it was the agreement was made with Repsol for the expropriation of YPF.  The normalization of political ties with the IMF are moving lukewarmly forward.  The biggest tangle is with the holdouts that didn’t enter the debt swap and are suing in New York courts.  France has been the only country from the group of the powerful to stand in solidarity with Argentina’s position in that dispute.  

Cristina doesn’t have Hollande’s personal problems affecting her public image.

Her image is being defiled by very dark matters from the administration of power.  Amadou Boudou is under judicial siege over the Ciccone scandal.  And influence peddling has gathered steam in the judicial branch from another one of her key lieutenants: Carlos Zannini, the Legal and Technical secretary.  For the moment, only Maximo Kirchner seems unharmed.  But her son, who also has sowed small conflicts with justice, is not an official.

The system of presidential power will being check-mated by suspicions of corruption.

With those calling cards, Cristina went on tour to the Vatican and Paris.

Some time ago, the President presumed that something could happen with her Vice President.

"What you put in you’re going to have to take out,” , you are going to have to take", said a man close to the case of the Ciccone scandal over the weekend. Judge Ariel Lijo piled up evidence against Boudou. The Ciccone family, through a paid ad, piled on with extreme harshness against the guitarist and former member of the UCeDe. They blamed him for having wanted to take over of the company which, among several projects, was devoted to printing currency notes. The weakened legal and political status of Boudou has induced the President to impose K-Radical Gerardo Zamora as the President pro-tem of the Senate. The first in the line of succession after the questioned VP. The Senator and former Governor of Santiago del Estero is an economic and political hostage of Cristinism.

The bullets started whistling around Zannini since last week. For what reason? His right hand man in the Legal and Technical Secretariat, Carlos Liuzzi, was embroiled in the matter by a statement from Norberto Oyarbide. The judge said, with a very relaxed body, that in December he ordered a suspension on a raid of a financier, after a telephone request by Liuzzi.

The official warned that police were asking for bribes, on behalf of the judge, to put an end to the operation. Oyarbide said that warning deserved to be confidential.

That confidentiality will start to be explained once Prosecutor Patricio Evers asked yesterday to reopen an inquiry filed by Oyarbide over alleged illicit enrichment by the aforementioned Liuzzi. They say that his personal wealth grew by 38 times between 2003 and 2011. They must investigate, in addition, if it also increased between 2011 and 2013. That call from Liuzzi to Oyarbide, apparently, was far from constituting a circumstantial fact.

Cristina, as she did in her time with Boudou, also ordered there be public and unrestricted support for Zannini.

It went to the Secretary of the Presidency, Oscar Parrilli. He said that the de-facto number two in the government has total confidence. The confidence of who,? Perhaps neither Julián Alvarez nor Deputy Eduardo De Pedro would feel the same way.  Last week, they were scrambling over a petition for an order of impeachment against Oyarbide, set off from different fronts, and it was postponed at the Judicial Council. Both camporistas were only recently named as members of the body.

The dilemma must start to be resolved tomorrow. The Committee on Discipline and Prosecution of the Council will address Oyarbide case.

That Committee is controlled by Kirchnerist Carlos Moreno.

The counsellor argued the previous week that the accusation could not be taken up without the judge being notified. That failure had allowed Oyarbide to argue for the procedure to be nullified. It remains to be seen how Moreno will conduct himself in the coming hours.

La Campora, however, one month beyond the destination of this new scandal, is feeling uncomfortable from the situation.  It has to protect Oyarbide at the same time that a member of its intellectual vanguard - Ricardo Forster, of Carta Abierta - described him as a "lousy" judge. It is not the first time that the camporistas have reproached Zannini over incompetence in his judicial whitewashing. And this whitewash is not just any one: it's Oyarbide, who feeds his history with a scorecard of petitions for political trials of which only one actually happened, in the 1990s, although it ended in acquittal.

Oyarbide, with a description of what happened in that aborted raid, unmasked K-interference in the judiciary like few have.   Did he it to send a message to those in power? Will those in power be encouraged to send him definitively to the slaughterhouse? It depends only on what Cristina decides when she forgets Paris and lands back in Buenos Aires.

El Cronista

Montag, 17. März 2014

Debt Coverage: Buenos Aires Herald: “Government confirms debt talks with Paris Club to begin May 26” MercoPress: “Creditor nations Paris Club and Argentina will begin debt discussions in May” Financial Times: “On a wing and a prayer over Argentina debt” Reuters: “UPDATE 3-Paris Club invites Argentina to hold debt negotiation” Wall Street Journal: “Argentina Says Paris Club Asked to Start Talks in May” Business News Americas: “John Kerry rules out US support for Argentina in dispute with bond holdouts” (QFR)

uenos Aires Herald
Monday, March 17, 2014
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich today confirmed Argentina will start negotiations with the Paris Club on May 26 th.
"Argentina has received a formal invitation for the beginning of talks and that invitation has a date which is May 26,” Capitanich told reporters this morning.
Buenos Aires Herald
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Earlier in the day the Paris Club announced the negotiations invitation for the week starting 26 May with the purpose of settling the long-running debt estimated roughly in 10bn dollars.
“They discussed this proposal in January and February, asked for clarification and, based on a revised proposal, have invited the government of Argentina to come negotiate an arrears clearance agreement with the Paris Club creditors in May in Paris,” secretary general Clotilde L'Angevin was quoted in Paris.
Financial Times
Saturday, March 15, 2014
By Benedict Mander
What a headache debts can cause. No one knows this better than Cristina Fernández, who after receiving mixed messages related to Argentina’s debt in recent days will have plenty to chew over on her transatlantic flight before she meets the Pope on Monday.
There was good news today when the Paris Club, a group of countries which Argentina owes about $10bn, invited their debtor to begin formal negotiations in May, after economy minister Axel Kicillof presented a repayment plan in January. Resolution of the Paris Club problem is not only a prerequisite for Argentina’s return to the international capital markets, but it could also help to get much-needed foreign investment flowing back into the country.
Friday, March 14, 2014
By Leigh Thomas
* Paris Club set May date for debt negotiations
* Germany, Japan biggest holders of debt
* Argentine needs to regain access to markets
PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) - The Paris Club invited the Argentine government on Friday to negotiate paying off its overdue debt, with talks starting in the week of May 26 to take an important step towards settling the long-running debt dispute.
Eager to settle disputes with its creditors, Argentina outlined its conditions in January to repay the roughly $9.5 billion it owes Paris Club members.
Wall Street Journal
Friday, March 14, 2014
By Shane Romig
BUENOS AIRES—The Paris Club of creditor nations invited Argentina to start formal talks at the end of May to settle the multibillion-dollar defaulted debt the South American country has owed the group for over a decade, Argentina's economy ministry said Friday.
Argentina laid out the basic terms of its proposal in January, and the invitation from the Paris Club came after weeks of informal contacts, the economy ministry said.
A Paris Club spokesman confirmed the May timeline for talks.
Business News Americas
Friday, March 14, 2014
By Natan Levy
The US secretary of state John Kerry has said that the US will not file a brief in support of Argentina's petition for a hearing by the US supreme court in its legal battle with bond holdouts over the repayment of debts following Argentina's default in 2002.
Facing questions from Republican congressman Mario Díaz-Balart on Wednesday (Mar 12) as to whether the US will support Argentina in its legal battle with the holdouts, led by NML Capital, a unit of Elliott Management, Kerry's response was a very clear, "no we are not going to."

Perfil: “’To settle with the Paris Club facilitates credits for Vaca Muerta’” Clarin: “Economy wants funds and at a lower interest rate than YPF” La Nacion: “In Rome and Paris, Cristina seeks to recover the spotlight” Clarin: “The presidential campaign has moved to the United States”

“To settle with the Paris Club facilitates credits for Vaca Muerta”
Sunday, March 16, 2014
By Paola Quain
The first formal meeting to start the negotiations between the Paris Club and Argentina over a debt estimated at US$10 billion, which was confirmed for May 26, could be the point of departure for the reopening of lines of credit that are closed off today for key areas like the energy sector.  
According to sources from the Economy Ministry, up to yesterday the formal invitation had not yet arrived for Minister Axel Kicillof and it was not officially confirmed that he will travel in the coming days to France, while they were still analyzing what would be the best strategy to follow.  
In January, Kicillof had proposed paying 20% of the debt in 12 months starting with the agreement and extending the payments out 15 years in installments or state bonds, an idea that was rejected.  Now, the technical staff are looking at a 20% cash payment on the debt within a year, while the creditors want it in less time.  
Even still, it is good news for the government, which is trying to open up a path in the foreign markets for obtaining financing.  
On the issue, former Finance secretary Guillermo Nielsen celebrated the progress.
—What are the expectations that this meeting is setting off?
—It’s very good news, the acceptance of sitting down and negotiating an agreement is something that will help Argentina a great deal.  One has to take note that this kind of negotiation, once it starts, has to be concluded.  This means that, beyond what could be an intermediate picture, what is certain is that they will continue until reaching an end.  For that reason, it’s very important to show up well prepared.
—What could be the most immediate effects that could come from reaching an agreement?
—I believe that the most important thing is that it will unblock other lines of credit that are of interest to our country, and that are closed off today, especially from the Ex-Im Bank, which we need from countries like Germany, the United States and other G-7 countries, through which we could access the necessary technology for the development of Vaca Muerta, and also in the area of rail systems.  
—What view do you have about the IMF warnings on Friday about Argentina’s delay in showing its data before the entity?
—I believe that the drama needs to be reduced around Article IV, which is about communicating the national economy figures to the multilateral credit organization.  It’s something that all the countries do, even France, and while they are criticized, they are a sovereign state.  
Economy wants funds and at a lower interest rate than YPF
“The order is to place debt at one point less than YPF,” is the message to bankers these days.  They are betting on year’s end.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Last week, the Finance Secretariat at the Economy Ministry received a group of foreign investors.  Also one of the biggest foreign banks that operates in the country.  Those who participated said that Secretary Pablo López was anxious to seduce the bankers.  He acknowledges that he has the go-ahead “from the top” for placing debt, where the goal is to put together the first operation in the last quarter of the year, and that it only has to comply with one rule: the interest rate has to be one point less than the 8.87% annual that YPF set in December 2013 when it placed US$500 million.
Investors heard the following definitions from Lopez and his advisers: “The economic team has the approval of Cristina Kirchner to place debt;” “The condition is that the rate has to be lower than YPF’s (8.87%);”  “The outline of the offer to the Paris Club was accepted by most of the member countries.”
At the Economy Ministry they are optimistic over the progress of the negotiations with the Paris Club. And they believe that the new rate of inflation will not only serve to put the relationship with the IMF back on track. It will also serve to start down the path of recovering credibility. "The economic team will seek a more active approach with the banks in the next meeting of the IMF," has a source who was in one of these meetings, in relation to the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank that will take place in Washington in April.
But will there be enough time for the economic team to achieve results before the end of the year?
Two experts gave their opinion. One is former Finance Secretary Daniel Marx. "The worst performing countries today are Venezuela, Argentina and Ukraine. You must not make too much out of that lot.” Marx believes that Argentina will get good results from the meeting on May 26 in the Paris Club because once a date is fixed there is a pre-agreement.
"The country could be placing debt at around 8% by the end of the year.”
In turn, Eduardo Levy Yeyati, director of Elypsis and former economist for the Central Bank, believes that the economic team is underestimating the timing around this transaction. "It is not clear what their road map is in this respect and what would bring in fresh resources, except by postponing the possibility of a default.”
At Economy they minimized the rumors about a correction in subsidies in the coming months. And they won’t rule out the possibility of postponing it if economic activity shrinks in the second half of the year. Kicillof was opposed to revising service rates at the beginning of 2012 when, at that time, the economy entered into a six-month recession.
With the devaluation, the monetary contraction, and the resolution for the banks to dump their positions in dollars, Kicillof is betting on going out to the markets.
La Nacion
In Rome and Paris, Cristina seeks to recover the spotlight
After a long time she will make a trip that will link her to relief leaders, like the Pope and Hollande, and will have a positive agenda for the government
Sunday, March 16, 2014
By Mariana Verón  | LA NACION
After two complex months on the domestic front, President Cristina Kirchner will resume her international agenda this week with two high voltage political meetings: tomorrow with Pope Francis and Wednesday with French President François Hollande, two meetings that the government already celebrated in advance.
The invitation from the highest authority of the Church to the President will put her back on the world stage and only the predisposition by Francis to greet Cristina Kirchner triggered optimism in the Casa Rosada, where they believe that it will give them a week's respite from the more urgent unresolved issues such as inflation and the collective bargaining with teachers that is still not settled.
The President departed yesterday for Rome for the start of a tour that will take her out of the country for five days. In addition to her first stop at the Vatican and the meeting with Hollande, the head of State will have an appointment with businessmen that was set up against the clock to reactivate her return to the world after long months without foreign trips.
With a tiny delegation, the President will have her appointment with Francis, the third since he took office as the head of the church a year ago, tomorrow (Monday) at noon, for lunch one-on-one at Santa Marta.
With the relationship with the Church more relaxed since the obligatory trip made by Cristina Kirchner to get closer to the Pope, the meeting will seek to reinforce a bond that both have cultivated in private: while the Casa Rosada requested the meeting, the appointment ended up being set almost spontaneously when the President telephoned Francis to congratulate him on his year as Pope, and he invited her, taking advantage of her being in Europe this week. Everything erupted so quickly that the Argentine ambassador to the Holy See, Juan Pablo Cafiero, found out about the invitation once it came together.
"There is an affection and a new relationship both are taking care of," said an official from the Casa Rosada in the midst of the clear enthusiasm generated this week by the departure of the President for the Vatican.
Inside the government they say that the visit will give Cristina Kirchner a framework of "harmony" and "dialogue" in the new phase that she has decided to embark on, after her speech in the Legislative Assembly on March 1 showed her to be more open to the opposition and she even invited a group of lawmakers along on her last trip to Chile, last week, for the inauguration of Michele Bachelet.
The encounter with Francis will have an open agenda, but from the government they suppose that the dialogue could turn to the papal concern over drug trafficking, a problem that the Church has made a central theme in recent days.
This time the delegation will be excessively reduced. Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, the Secretary of Religion, Guillermo Oliveri, and presidential spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro traveled in Tango 01. With access restrictions, the list of those going along was already handed over in advance, but, while the whole entourage will greet the Pope, only Cristina will have lunch with him.
The one that could also be added to the delegation is Guillermo Moreno, the former Secretary of domestic trade and today the attache at the embassy in Italy, who will reunite with the President after his departure from the government. The same Monday, after lunch, Cristina will go to Paris for the second stop on her tour. She will arrive relieved. The timing of her meeting with Hollande, on Wednesday, could not be more positive for the government: it will come just days after the Paris Club announced that it has accepted a start to negotiations by the debt that the Argentina has with the group of countries. While the issue will be part of the meeting, within the economic team they recognized that the decision announced on Friday cleared an open front for the President.
In parallel, while the President was leaving yesterday from Buenos Aires, in the French capital progress was being made on setting up meetings with businessmen, who was still unfinished, for Tuesday, the day off which is located in Paris.
With the intention of showing a new face to the markets and economic sectors after the progress in negotiating with the Paris Club and the payment to Repsol on the expropriation of YPF, Cristina will be seen with businessmen in search of investment. The trip will end with a cultural appointment: the President will speak Thursday during the opening of the Paris book fair, which this year has Argentina as guest country of honor.
The President’s agenda
Cristina Kirchner will meet with the Pope and François Hollande
MONDAY. The head of the state will lunch alone with Pope Francis. It will be their third meeting in Rome.
TUESDAY.  She will meet with businessmen after the announcement of the Paris Club, which agreed to negotiate the Argentine debt.
WEDNESDAY. Cristina Kirchner will meet with French President François Hollande.
THURSDAY. She will speak during the opening of the Paris Book Fair, which has the country as guest of honor.