Argentina bondholders seek to reinstate halt on court ordered payment

NEW YORK Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:59pm EST

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NEW YORK Nov 26 (Reuters) - Investors holding $1 billion worth of restructured Argentine debt filed an emergency motion to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday hoping it will overrule a decision they fear will trigger another default and prevent payment on their bonds.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa ordered last Wednesday that Argentina immediately pay a separate group of holdout investors who rejected two debt restructuring offers the $1.33 billion in judgments they have won in court, a stinging blow to the country's efforts to overcome a 2002 debt crisis.

"The motion would ensure that interest payments to the bondholders continue while the appeal is decided. The Exchange bondholders agreed to take under 30 cents on the dollar to support Argentina's debt restructuring in accordance with US Government and international fiscal policy," David Boies, a lawyer representing the investors who participated in the exchanges, said in a statement.

The holdout investors in the case are led by NML Capital, an affiliate of Elliott Management, and Aurelius Capital Management, both based in New York.

Griesa's order means Argentina must deposit the money into an escrow account by Dec. 15, which protects both sides of the case pending a final decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

At stake for all exchange bondholders is a potential technical default on approximately $24 billion worth of debt issued in the 2005 and 2010 exchanges. Principal and interest payments due those bondholders next month total over $3 billion.

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