Ghana will ask its Court of Appeal to vacate an order to seize an Argentine naval ship in a dispute between the Latin American nation and a hedge fund that says it’s owed money over defaulted government bonds.
“The Attorney General will go to the appeals court today to vacate the ruling that is holding the Argentine vessel,” Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said by phone from Accra, the capital. That would “enable the vessel to sail off freely.”
The ARA Libertad has been docked at Ghana’s main port of Tema, about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from Accra, since an Oct. 2 order obtained by NML Capital Ltd., which is run by billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer’s Elliot Management Corp. On Dec. 15, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, a United Nations court, ruled that Ghana must release the vessel.
“Ghana is an a conflict between two court rulings, the local courts and the international tribunal,” Ablakwa said. The West African nation doesn’t “have any position on the issue,” he said. The appeal court may make a ruling later today or tomorrow, according to Ablakwa.
NML and other investors who didn’t participate in debt swaps Argentina carried out after its 2001 default are seeking to recover the full value of the Argentine securities. About 93 percent of the defaulted bonds were restructured in 2005 and 2010, giving creditors about 30 cents on the dollar. NML is separately fighting in a U.S. court for repayment on the bonds.
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