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News Link • Economy - International

Argentine default looms as time runs out for debt deal

• http://www.reuters.com, Sarah Marsh

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.

"The outcome is still uncertain, with just days before a technical default is triggered," said analyst Mauro Roca of Goldman Sachs. "A deal now seems unlikely."

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