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Alternative Market Briefing

U.S. sides with Argentina, imperils hedge funds

Monday, March 28, 2016

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

The U.S. Department of Justice has practically sided with Argentina after issuing a "friend of the court" or amicus curiae brief on Wednesday, throwing its support to New York federal judge Thomas Griesa’s decision to lift the injunction against the struggling country after offering to pay $6.5bn to settle lawsuits from hedge funds and holdout bondholders on Feb. 5.

The brief, submitted before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, is a serious setback to four hedge funds, led by Paul E. Singer’s firm, NML Capital, who are seeking full repayment of their defaulted bonds, the New York Times reported. In 2001, Argentine defaulted on its $100bn debt.

The Justice Department said in the brief, "The United States has significant foreign policy interests in support of a swift resolution of this long-running litigation." The U.S. appeals court usually defer to opinions of the Justice Department, the report added.

The brief was released short after U.S. President Barack Obama visited Buenos Aires, where he held high-level talks with his Argentinian counterpart, President Mauricio Macri.

Singer’s Elliott Management, Aurelius Capital Management, Bracebridge Capital and Davidson Kempner ......................

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