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Argentina considers Citigroup deal with US Judge Griesa could have violated local law

Thursday, March 26th 2015 - 09:20 UTC
Full article 10 comments
“Reading the fine print of the deal, what we find is a trap possible aimed at scamming the bondholders,” Kicillof told a news conference in Buenos Aires. “Reading the fine print of the deal, what we find is a trap possible aimed at scamming the bondholders,” Kicillof told a news conference in Buenos Aires.
Argentina has long accused the U.S. judge Griesa of working hand in hand with the funds, which President Cristina Fernandez and her minister disparage as “vultures”. Argentina has long accused the U.S. judge Griesa of working hand in hand with the funds, which President Cristina Fernandez and her minister disparage as “vultures”.

Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said on Wednesday a deal between Citigroup Inc and U.S. judge Thomas Griesa allowing the banking giant to process two Argentine debt payments violated the country's laws.

 Kicillof said the securities commission and central bank would examine the deal to determine officially if it was legal.

“Reading the fine print of the deal, what we find is a trap possible aimed at scamming the bondholders,” Kicillof told a news conference in Buenos Aires.

Citigroup, which acts as custodian of some Argentine bonds, has been embroiled in a court battle between the Argentine government and a group of New York-based holdout hedge funds seeking full payment on their defaulted sovereign bonds.

Argentina has long accused the U.S. judge hearing the case of working hand in hand with the funds, which President Cristina Fernandez and her minister disparage as “vultures”.

In the latest twist of this long-running tale, Citi said this weekend a U.S. District Court had announced it would not restrict Citi from meeting its payment-processing obligations relating to dollar-denominated Argentine bond payments under local law due on March 31 and June 30.

The court also said it will not impede the bank from exiting the Argentine custody business, as it has said it wants to do.

The Cristina Fernandez's government had threatened to cancel Citibank Argentina's operating license if it refused to process payments to other bond holders.

While Citigroup has now secured the possibility of making the next two payments, it is not clear if its deal with U.S. courts could also have legal consequences for its retail banking business.

“From my point of view, the deal they have signed with the 'vultures' clearly violates Argentine laws,” Kicillof said.

U.S. District Judge Griesa in New York ruled that Argentina must settle with the hedge funds seeking full payment on their defaulted sovereign bonds before it continues paying interest to the large majority of investors who accepted significant write-downs on the debt holdings after the country's record default on 100 billion dollars in 2002.

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  • ilsen

    If you paid your debts Axel none of this would be necessary.

    Mar 26th, 2015 - 10:11 am 0
  • ElaineB

    Why is he whining like a baby again? Is it because he didn't want to have to pay and now the excuse that he wanted to but couldn't has gone?

    Mar 26th, 2015 - 10:52 am 0
  • ilsen

    Ohh, he still wants to pay, of course he does, it just that he fears he might break some local law if he did.
    It is quite a new thing to him, this 'respecting laws', he hasn't quite grasped it yet.
    He needs to take it really slow. He is really unsure how to proceed. He is trying to remember which laws are to be respected, and which ones aren't. Also what is lies and what is truth. And what he said to whom. And when.

    Oh bless! Baby has got all confused. ...!

    Just grow up Axel and Pay Up.

    Mar 26th, 2015 - 11:06 am 0
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