Defaulted Azerbaijan Bank Wins Approval for Debt Restructuring Plan

International Bank of Azerbaijan, the state-owned lender that defaulted on foreign debts, said it had enough support from creditors to implement a $3.3 billion debt-restructuring plan.

Creditors holding more than 87 percent of the debt affected by the proposal have voted in favor, a day before the deadline, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday. Two-third support is required to make the proposal binding under Azeri rules.

The bank intends to write down the principal on some senior notes by 20 percent and swap debt for sovereign bonds after a currency crisis roiled lenders in the Caspian Sea nation. Overseas investors including Fidelity Management & Research Co. and Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd. have challenged the plan in a U.S. court, arguing that the vote was unfair due to the participation of Azerbaijan’s state oil fund.

IBA defaulted on its foreign debts when it failed to repay a $100 million subordinated loan on May 10. The bank will announce the final result in the restructuring vote after a July 18 claimants meeting, the statement said.

Some holders of a $500 million senior bond due June 2019, including Fidelity and Franklin Templeton, asked a New York court to block the restructuring last month. The judge overruled the objection on the grounds that the vote hadn’t then taken place.

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