Argentina talks go long as debt deadline looms

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Argentina's economy minister says two sides locked in a dispute over the country's bonds have finally talked with one another on the eve of a deadline to avoid default.

Minister Axel Kicillof made the revelation late Tuesday as he left negotiations overseen by a court-appointed mediator.

Kicillof joined discussions aimed at reaching a deal before Wednesday night's deadline to avert Argentina's second default in 13 years.

He told reporters he had met with the mediator and lawyers for U.S. hedge funds that bought Argentina's bonds on the cheap and are now demanding payment.

A judge has ordered Argentina to pay the U.S. bondholders roughly $1.5 billion if Argentina also pays the other 92 percent of bondholders who swapped their bonds for less valuable ones in the last decade. Talks resume Wednesday.