Brazil, France, Mexico To Back Argentina In Elliott Battle

Mar 24 2014 | 11:07am ET

Three of Argentina’s fellow sovereigns plan to support Argentina’s appeal of U.S. court rulings ordering it to pay hedge-fund holdouts from its 2002 default.

Brazil, France and Mexico will file amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering whether to accept Argentina’s appeal of the adverse lower-court decisions. 

Last year, Argentina lost a last-ditch appeal before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, leaving in place an order for the country to pay Elliott Management and other hedge funds $1.33 billion on its defaulted debt before it can pay holders of its restructured debt. Argentina has vowed to never pay the holdouts, which it calls “vultures,” a decision that could force it into another default.

Argentina has argued that the rulings violate its sovereign immunity and would cause trouble for future sovereign-debt restructurings, a position also taken by Mexico.

“We believe there’s a real risk that a Supreme Court decision against Argentina’s interests could create a precedent that would make future sovereign restructurings much more difficult and costly,” Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray told Bloomberg News last week.

Argentina is likely to go before the high court without the backing of the U.S., which last year declined to support the country’s Supreme Court appeal after doing so before the lower courts. The U.S. decision led the International Monetary Fund to refuse to weigh in on Argentina’s first appeal to the Supreme Court last year, which was declined.

The U.S. has asked the high court to hear a separate case stemming from Argentina’s battle with Elliott, this one a dispute over subpoenas issued in the fight. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear that case, and the U.S. has asked the panel to side with Argentina.

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