(MENAFN - AFP) Argentina will offer holdouts another chance at joining a restructuring deal over its 2001 debt default that has been rejected twice before, the country's president said.
On Tuesday "we will send a bill to Congress to open for a third time the debt swap for the seven percent who did not enter into the previous swaps (in 2005 and 2010)," Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said on Monday, in a televised address.
She said the government would also offer "a massive replacement of securities" for the 93 percent of investors who accepted the past offers, which would be payable under the same terms agreed in the past but in Argentina rather than New York.
Argentina's economy minister had said Sunday that it would continue repaying its debt on the same terms despite losing an appeal in a US court in its case against unhappy creditors.
On Friday, a US appeals court in New York ordered Buenos Aires to pay 1.47 billion to hedge funds holding its defaulted bonds, quashing an appeal against an initial 2012 judgment.
"We will continue to pay (the debt) as we have been until now, under the same terms," Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino told state news agency Telam.
The ruling was "an attempt to bring the country back to the situation it was in in 2001," Lorenzino added, reflecting widespread fears that paying off the holdouts could unravel the previous deals and lead to another massive default.
Faced with bankruptcy in 2001, Argentina reached a deal with almost all of its private creditors to restructure its debt at a discount of nearly 70 percent in two phases, in 2005 and 2010, for a total of 90 billion.
In a case closely watched by financial and debt markets, the US court endorsed the original decision that Argentina must compensate two hedge funds 100 percent of the value of the defaulted bonds they hold, after the two declined to take part in a restructuring of the debt.
The hedge funds in question -- branded "vulture funds" by Buenos Aires -- are NML Capital and Aurelius.
Because Buenos Aires had requested the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the case, the appeals court said it would hold off on enforcing the decision.
Buenos Aires has argued that bondholders who took part in the 2005 and 2010 restructuring of nearly 100 billion of defaulted debt, which forced them to swallow huge writedowns, would now be able to lay claim as well for 100 percent compensation.
That could overwhelm the country's finances and lead to a fresh default, Argentina has claimed.
The South American nation of 42 million, a major world agricultural exporter, is struggling to contain capital flight so severe the government has imposed controls on currency exchange.