Argentina asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear debt appeal -report
BUENOS AIRES, June 25 (Reuters) - Argentina took its legal battle with "holdout" creditors to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday by appealing an adverse decision handed down by a lower U.S. court in October of last year, state news service Telam said. "Today Argentina introduced the first special appeal (Writ of Certiorari) before the Supreme Court of the United States," Telam said, citing unnamed sources in the economy ministry. The move came while investors are still awaiting a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected in the coming weeks. If the Supreme Court decides to hear Argentina's case, it would not do so until the lower court has ruled.
For the last decade, Argentina and the creditors have sparred in U.S. courts over the South American country's 2002 debt default. U.S. courts last year ruled in favor of the holdouts, who rejected debt exchanges in 2005 and 2010. The creditors are suing to be repaid in full after spurning the two debt swap offers, which were accepted by about 93 percent of bondholders. A U.S. judge ordered Argentina to pay the holdouts the full $1.33 billion owed them the next time it serviced restructured debt. Argentina appealed. Investors are following the case closely because Argentina appears willing to enter into technical default in order to avoid paying the holdouts any more than other creditors received in the 2005 and 2010 exchanges. The nearly 93 percent of bondholders who accepted the terms of those two debt swaps got returns of as low as 25 cents on the dollar. In November, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa ordered Argentina to deposit the $1.33 billion owed to holdouts in an escrow account by Dec. 15, when restructured debt came due. He also required that third parties involved in payments on Argentina's restructured bonds be held accountable if the court order were evaded. This included Bank of New York Mellon Corp , which acts as trustee for the exchange bondholders. The 2nd Circuit suspended these orders under an emergency judicial stay while reviewing Argentina's appeal. It was not clear if the stay will remain in place now that Argentina has appealed to the Supreme Court.