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Puerto Rico to meet with creditors Monday, not looking to cut principal

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July 7
6:54 PM 2015

Puerto Rico is not intending to cut principal payments to bondholders but to renegotiate debt terms, and officials are set to meet creditors on Monday at the offices of Citi, the head of the island's Government Development Bank Melba Acosta told reporters on Tuesday.

The meeting with creditors would be the first official meeting since Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla told holders of its $72 billion debt that he wants to restructure debt and postpone bond payments.

"We are not saying that the government will not pay," Acosta told reporters. "We are not talking about cutting principal or anything like it."

Acosta said that the government wants to pay its obligations but that it needs, if creditors allow it, to renegotiate terms and maturities so it has breathing space to make fiscal adjustments, expand the economy and repay debt in its entirety.

"We will be inviting the (creditor) groups with the largest holding of Puerto Rico debt, all types of debt," Acosta said. "We will be inviting two persons to represent each group."

Acosta said a report by the former IMF economist Anne Krueger which was released a week ago would be explained to creditors as well as the restructuring process and how negotiations will begin.

Victor Suarez, chief of staff in the governor's office, said the meeting would be live streamed on the internet.

A spokesman for Citi declined comment.

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