UPDATE 2-U.S. judge says Citigroup can process Argentina's next bond payment
(Adds Argentine government statement)
By Nate Raymond and Daniel Bases
NEW YORK Nov 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that Citigroup Inc could process an $85 million interest payment by Argentina on bonds issued under its local laws following its 2002 default.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York said Citigroup could process the Dec. 31 payment it receives on U.S. dollar-denominated Argentine law bonds.
The judge also called off a Dec. 9 hearing over whether the bank could regularly process payments Argentina makes on the bonds. The briefing will be deferred into 2015.
Griesa's order gives Citigroup further breathing room in a dispute between hedge funds suing over defaulted Argentine debt, known as holdout creditors, and the country.
Citigroup has said it faces regulatory and criminal sanctions by Argentina if it does not process interest payments on Argentina bonds issued under local law. Danielle Apsilos-Romero, a Citigroup spokeswoman, confirmed that the order will allow processing of the $85 million payment.
Argentina defaulted in July after refusing to honor court orders prohibiting it from paying holders of its restructured bonds without at the same time paying $1.33 billion plus interest to holdout creditors.
Griesa in July blocked Bank of New York Mellon Corp from processing a $539 million interest payment. Continuación...