Elliott Says 'Hard To Believe' Argentina Will Default Again

Jan 29 2013 | 11:11am ET

In a battle marked by harsh exchanges and black-and-white remarks, Elliott Associates' latest words in its dispute with Argentina are mild to say the least.

In a court filing Friday, Elliott wrote that "it is hard to believe that Argentina will needlessly trigger yet another default and cause the acceleration of tens of billions of dollar in principal repayment obligations" by refusing to pay it and other holdouts from the country's 2001 debt default. The hedge fund is asking the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold an earlier ruling it made that Argentina must pay bondholders who have refused to exchange their debt for new bonds, with a 70% haircut.

In previous court filings and exchanges, Elliott has called for quick action to prevent Argentina from trying to skirt U.S. court rulings. For its part, Argentina has both promised not to default again and sworn to never pay the holdouts.

The case at hand also involves the exchange bondholders, who complain that if Elliott forces a default, it would be unfair to them.

The Second Circuit, which last year both rejected Argentina's appeal of a lower-court ruling that ordered it to pay Elliott and reinstated a stay preventing those payments, will hear arguments on Feb. 27. Argentina is seeking to have the stay last until it exhausts its appeals.

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