NEW YORK, Aug 28 (IFR) - A unit of billionaire Paul Singer's
Elliott Management, which is Argentina's main holdout creditor,
is extending its legal fight with the South American nation to
NML Capital served subpoenas this week to Bank of China
(BOC) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
(ICBC) in an effort to obtain information on
US$6.8bn in financing for deals signed by the two countries in
"We want to understand the mechanics of these credit
facilities to establish whether assets to which Argentina has a
legal title could surface in jurisdictions where we would be
able to attach them," a lawyer advising Elliott told IFR on
The subpoenas are aimed at a US$4.7bn facility provided by
China Development Bank, ICBC and BOC to finance the construction
of two hydroelectric dams in Patagonia and a US$2.1bn loan from
China Development Bank and ICBC to finance the Belgrano Cargas
Both deals were signed by Argentine President Cristina
Fernandez and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during an
official visit of a Chinese delegation to Buenos Aires.
Elliott hopes to be able to track the payment mechanisms and
time legal actions in any relevant jurisdiction accordingly.
The hedge fund is also hoping to bring to light disclosures
that Argentina may have made to its Chinese creditors with
respect to its dispute with the holdouts, which in July pushed
Argentina into its second default in 13 years.
"We think that Argentina may have provided some assurances
to the lenders that they have plans to evade the pari passu
injunction," said the lawyer, referring to an injunction issued
in 2012 by US district court Judge Thomas Griesa that prevents
Argentina from paying holders of its restructured bonds unless
it also makes holdouts whole.
The Chinese banks have about a month to provide the
documents and have been asked to testify at the New York offices
of law firms Dechert and Miller & Wrubel on October 8, according
to subpoena documents seen by IFR.
While the banks can oppose the request, Elliott is confident
that the US courts would ultimately allow its request to go
The subpoenas apply to any form of financing and currency
swaps the banks may have arranged for Argentina or hundreds of
Argentine government-related entities over the last four years.
Elliott - via its NML Capital unit - is one of the lead
creditors who sued Argentina for full repayment after the
sovereign's 2001 default.
The hedge fund has won a number of legal battles against the
country, including obtaining a green light from the US Supreme
Court to seek information about Argentina's non-US assets.
In separate proceedings, Elliott plans to subpoena
international banks including Citigroup, HSBC and Standard
Chartered to seize what it suspects are embezzled Argentine
funds, a source at the hedge fund told IFR last week.
Bank of China declined to comment, while Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China was not immediately available for
(Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo; editing by Shankar
Ramakrishnan and Paul Kilby)