Argentina loses €643m London hedge fund lawsuit
A group of four hedge funds have won their legal case against Argentina over payments due on euro-denominated securities linked to the country's GDP, leaving the South African republic facing a potential bill of €1.33bn ($1.46bn), according to a report by Reuters.
In a written ruling on Wednesday, London High Court Judge Simon Picken ruled in favour of the four funds – Palladian Partners LP, HBK Master Fund LP, Hirsh Group LLC and Virtual Emerald International Limited – who collectively hold 48% of the GDP securities, saving that Argentina should pay them €643 million plus interest.
In addition, the judge also ruled that Argentina should pay around €1.33 billion euros in relation to all of the GDP-linked securities issued.
At a hearing in October, the funds argued that Argentina had a "propensity" to manipulate economic data in order to save billions of dollars and the the country's economic statistics were "the subject of political direction" in Argentina under former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who served from 2007 to 2015.
However, Argentina's lawyers said that "no rational government deliberately understates GDP" and pointed out the country had paid nearly $10 billion to holders of its GDP-linked securities since they were first issued in 2005.
Argentina is likely to seek permission to appeal the ruling according to lawyer Tamara Oppenheimer.