NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - A group of Argentine bondholders who reached a $4.65 billion settlement resolving litigation over defaulted bonds urged a U.S. judge on Tuesday to wait longer before lifting injunctions that restrict the country from paying off some debts.
Hedge funds including Elliott Management’s NML Capital asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan to wait 30 days to formally order the injunctions vacated, to allow the remaining plaintiffs to reach settlements.
Theodore Olson, NML’s lawyer, said that firm and three other hedge funds that agreed to Monday’s settlement considered it a “monumental achievement” that would resolve the bulk of the decade-plus litigation.
He said the deal could fall apart if the remaining plaintiffs, holding 15 percent of the claims in the litigation, are not given a chance to also settle, as they likely would appeal a decision lifting the injunctions.
“The agreement is just on the edge of being successful,” Olson said.
Michael Paskin, Argentina’s lawyer, countered that no delay was needed, and Argentina deserved certainty so that it could raise money in capital markets to fund the settlements.
“It is fully invested in the opportunity your honor has presented to resolve this litigation once and for all,” Paskin said.
The arguments stemmed from an order by Griesa on Feb. 19 indicating that, at Argentina’s request, he planned to order the injunctions vacated, provided the country repeals two laws concerning its debts and pays creditors who by Monday had reached settlements.
That order came after Argentina offered on Feb. 5 to pay $6.5 billion to settle lawsuits by various bondholders stemming from its record $100 billion default in 2002.
Argentina says $6.2 billion in deals have been reached with creditors who spurned its 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings, which resulted in 92 percent of its defaulted debt being swapped and investors being paid less than 30 cents on the dollar.
The injunctions at issue prevented Argentina from servicing its restructured debt until it paid the holdout investors. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)