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Argentina officials willing to talk with holdout creditors: Lawyer

Demonstrators set fire on an U.S. flag during a protest near the United States embassy in Buenos Aires June 17, 2014.
Reuters
Demonstrators set fire on an U.S. flag during a protest near the United States embassy in Buenos Aires June 17, 2014.

Argentine officials have expressed a willingness to negotiate with holdout creditors to end their long-running bond dispute, a lawyer for the country said at a New York court hearing on Wednesday.

"I have been told the plan is to be here next week to negotiate with the holdouts to resolve this situation," the lawyer, Carmine Boccuzzi, told U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa at the hearing. Boccuzzi later said, though, that "an exchange offer is not happening at this time."

Griesa has ordered Argentina to pay $1.33 billion to the holdout creditors, who did not participate in two prior bond restructurings with the country.

Argentina has refused to pay the holdouts, raising the specter of a possible default. Argentine officials have called the holdouts "vulture fund."

The judge said at the hearing: "What I want is a legal mechanism to prevent another situation where the Republic can laugh off another judgment."

Wednesday's federal court hearing came as Argentina attempts to resolve a sovereign debt crisis that has lingered since a 2001-2002 default on $100 billion in debt.

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied Argentina's appeal of Greida's decision.

Argentina has taken steps to continue paying bondholders who agreed to debt restructuring, Economy Minister Axell Kicillof said on Tuesday. If Argentina fails to meet the June 30 payment deadline for its restructured debt, it would enter technical default.

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Argentine bonds plummeted on Wednesday after Kicillof said the country wanted to swap bonds governed by U.S. law for those governed by Argentine law.

— By CNBC.com with wires