Friday, February 19, 2016
Argentina ratifies request to have debt injunctions dropped
US District Judge Thomas Griesa.
The federal government today ratified its demand to have the orders restricting Argentina from servicing its restructured debts lifted in order to settle the legal dispute with so called "vulture" funds.
“The Republic and plaintiffs are in agreement that the parties cannot resolve this matter until the injunctions are vacated. Indeed, plaintiffs concede that ‘any such resolution must include the dissolution of the pari passu injunctions entered in NML’s actions,” a memorandum submitted today by Argentina’s legal representatives Daniel Slifkin and Paskin to US District Court Thomas Griesa said, responding to a request by creditors demanding the magistrate to reject the debt injunctions lift.
"Authorizing Argentina once again to violate plaintiffs' contractual rights would upend the negotiations that only now are just beginning in earnest and would risk new and unwanted litigation," lawyers for NML and Aurelius wrote said yesterday.
“The parties further agree that the Republic’s new administration has dramatically changed its policy toward this dispute and is working intensely, in good faith, to resolve the claims of holders of its defaulted bonds. Plaintiffs have acknowledged that they welcome ‘the efforts of Argentina’s new government to resolve these long-pending cases’ and ‘are encouraged by the engagement of Argentina’s new leadership and by its stated desire to reach agreements to resolve these cases,” the note issued by Argentina’s lawyers said.
Argentina told the judge last week that a court-ordered ban is no longer needed after it reached agreements this month to resolve claims on defaulted bonds with billionaire Kenneth Dart’s EM and Montreux Partners.
Nevertheless, the creditors said the injunctions are necessary to keep Macri at the bargaining table. They said talks had only begun when Argentina on February 5 made an “ambiguous” proposal to pay US$6.5 billion to settle the dispute, and as a result the country’s request to vacate injunctions imposed in the litigation was unwarranted.
“For 86 percent of plaintiffs, their claims remain unsettled and a meaningful settlement dialogue has yet to develop,” the funds said.
Elliott and Aurelius also complained that Argentina hadn’t spent much time meeting with the bondholders before going public with a settlement offer they called an “ultimatum.” They said the settlement included payment of 100 percent of one hedge fund’s claim, much better terms than those offered to the rest of the holdouts.
Argentina’s action is already “impeding communication and distracting parties from focusing on bridging their relatively few differences,” the funds said in their filing.
Despite the arguments, the brief signalled a continued willingness by the major creditors to reach a deal.
“None of this is to stay that the efforts of Argentina’s new government to resolve these long-pending cases are unwelcome. Quite the contrary, plaintiffs are encouraged by the engagement of Argentina’s new leadership and by its stated desire to reach agreements to solve the cases,” Aurelius and Elliott said.
Speaking in Brasilia yesterday, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said negotiations are continuing and that he was “confident that Argentina wants to leave behind this 15-year-old issue that has left us at the margins of the world.”