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NEW YORK, July 13 (Reuters) - Journalists in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory negotiating with bondholders to restructure up to $72 billion of debt, are suing the government to release the names of hedge funds that hold bonds issued by the Caribbean island.
"The information is of great public interest, as investment firms seeking to collect debt are trying to influence financial decisions and public policy to ensure their profits," Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.
The Association of Journalists of Puerto Rico joined the lawsuit together with the CIJ, the statement said.
A spokesman for the Ad Hoc Group, a group of 35 hedge funds that hold $4.5 billion of Puerto Rico's debt, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The Ad Hoc Group has declined to name the majority of its members. The steering committee also includes Brigade Capital Management, Monarch, Stone Lion, Davidson Kempner, and Centerbridge.
The group says it has assets under management of $500 billion. (Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by David Gregorio)