US appeals court rejects Argentine bond arguments

October 27, 2012 • Business

The three-masted ARA Libertad, a symbol of Argentina’s navy, sits docked at the port in Tema, outside Accra, Ghana, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Argentina announced the immediate evacuation Saturday of about 300 crew members from the Libertad, a navy training ship seized in Africa nearly three weeks ago as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from the South American nation’s economic crisis a decade ago.(AP Photo/Gabriela Barnuevo)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina lost its long battle against bond holdouts in the U.S. courts Friday when an appellate panel rejected every argument it made against paying $1.33 billion to investors who refused to accept as little as 25 cents on the dollar for the country’s defaulted debt in 2005.

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected a dozen appeals filed by Argentina over the years, and ordered the South American country to pay the holdouts an equal amount whenever it makes payments on other debt that has been restructured since the country’s economic collapse a decade ago.

“We hold that Argentina breached its promise,” the appellate court said, summarizing a 29-page ruling that could make it difficult for Argentina to use the U.S. financial system to make other debt payments unless it complies.

The ruling effectively gives Argentina a stark choice: Either pay all bondholders equally, or pay none of them.

A spokeswoman at Argentina’s Economy Ministry said the government Login to read more

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