Argentina Bonds Judge Says NML Entitled to Debt Sale Data

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The U.S. judge overseeing a dispute between Argentina and holders of its defaulted debt said investors led by Paul Singer’s NML Capital are entitled to information about Tuesday’s $1.4 billion bond offering by the South American nation, but didn't order disclosure just yet.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa Wednesday rejected NML’s request that Argentina and two banks that bought the bonds -- Deutsche Bank AG and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA -- produce details of the sale by Thursday. He directed the parties to try to reach agreement on getting the information to NML.

NML wants to try to identify Argentine assets that can be attached to pay judgments against the country stemming from its 2001 default on $95 billion in debt, the hedge fund’s lawyer, Robert Cohen, told Griesa in an hour-long hearing in Manhattan.

Jonathan Blackman, a lawyer for Argentina, told Griesa the Tuesday bond sale was a “purely internal, domestic Argentine debt offering of the kind Argentina has done for many years.” The debt was offered only in Argentina and isn’t subject to Griesa’s orders, he said.

Argentina hasn’t sold bonds abroad since the 2001 default. After the default, holders of about 92 percent of the repudiated debt agreed to take new bonds, at a discount of about 70 percent. NML and other hedge funds and individuals sued for full payment in the U.S., the forum selected by Argentina in the original bond agreements for resolving disputes.

Griesa in 2012 blocked the South American nation from paying restructured bondholders unless it pays the group led by NML Capital that claims $1.7 billion in defaulted debt.

The case is NML Capital Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, 08-cv-6978, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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