Judge Won't Exempt Citi From Argentine Debt Ruling

May 28 2013 | 12:36pm ET

A federal judge has told Citigroup that it will have to wait to see how his ruling that Argentina must pay hedge fund holdouts from its 2001 default will affect it.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa refused Citi's request for a declaration as to whether it is affected by his order—currently stayed by a federal appeals court—barring payments to bondholders who accepted Argentina's exchanges in 2005 and 2010 unless the holdouts were paid, as well. Griesa said he could not rule until the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has made its decision on his earlier decision.

"What further ruling or action is required from the district court will obviously depend on the holding from the court of appeals," Griesa wrote. "No more can be said at this time."

Argentina appealed Griesa's November order to the Second Circuit, which heard arguments in February. That court could issue its decision at any time.

Last week, Citi sought an assurance from Griesa that it was not affected by his order, arguing that its Argentine unit faces "grave regulatory, civil and possible criminal risk for obeying a court order not recognized as valid in Argentina."

Argentina has vowed to never pay the holdouts, led by Elliott Associates.

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