Hedge Fund Blasts Argentine Debt Moves

Oct 1 2008 | 8:59am ET

Argentina is trying to make nice with holders of bonds it defaulted on seven years ago, but at least one hedge fund manager won’t have it.

New York-based Elliott Associates, which owns about $1 billion of the defaulted debt, is calling the South American country “the poster child of rogue nations” and accusing it of trying to “bully creditors.”

Argentina’s newest offer comes three years after about 20% of the bondholders rejected its 30-cent-on-the-dollar payment. Then-President Nestor Kirchner vowed he would not settle with those holdouts, pushing though a law barring Argentina from making them another offer. But the more conciliatory approach of his wife and successor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is finding no more support at Elliott.

Argentina wants “to replay its unilateral approach and to bully creditors into accepting terms considerably worse than what it offered three years ago,” Elliot’s Jay Newton said in a statement. He called on Fernandez to pursue “good faith negotiations” with the creditors.

Fernandez’s move comes amid concerns that the current financial crisis might cause a second Argentine default. The country is working with Citigroup, Barclays and Deutsche Bank on the exchange proposal.

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