UPDATE 1-Puerto Rico's appeal in tax dispute is "baseless"-Doral
(Adds shares, confirmation of appeal from Puerto Rico)
NEW YORK Jan 2 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico has filed an appeal against local lender Doral Financial Corp over $229.9 million in disputed taxes, which Doral on Friday called "baseless".
In October, a Puerto Rico judge ruled in favor of Doral in its dispute with the Puerto Rico Treasury Department. The judge gave Puerto Rico 60 days to appeal, a deadline that expired on Friday. After the ruling, the Treasury said it would use "all legal options available" to appeal the ruling.
Earlier in 2014, the Treasury Department voided a 2012 agreement that set the tax refund for Doral resulting from a restatement of inflated earnings during a six-year period from 1998 to 2004.
Doral Legal Counsel Matthew McGill said Puerto Rico's "last-minute appeal today is... baseless" and that it was asking Puerto Rico's appellate courts to resolve the case on an expedited basis.
"We proved at trial that the Commonwealth entered into the contract with its eyes open and took millions of dollars in benefits as part of the bargain," McGill said.
A stamped copy of the appeal was distributed by Doral. A spokesperson for Puerto Rico's government bank confirmed that the appeal had been filed.
Shares of Doral rose 3.2 percent by the close of trading.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy and Rodrigo Campos; writing by Megan Davies; Editing by Diane Craft)
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