WASHINGTON Dec 6 In the latest twist in
long-running litigation over Argentina's obligations to bond
investors, the U.S. government has asked the Supreme Court to
intervene over a hedge fund's effort to gain information about
the country's non-U.S. assets.
The hedge fund, NML Capital, a holder of Argentine bonds,
wants repayment in full in a fight that was prompted by
Argentina's default on $100 billion in sovereign debt in 2002.
That is the subject of high-profile litigation that could be
headed to the high court in a separate case.
But in the different case in which U.S. Solicitor General
Donald Verrilli filed a brief this week, the question is the
narrower issue of whether NML could enforce subpoenas against
Bank of America and Banco de la Nacion Argentina seeking
information about Argentina's non-U.S. assets.
In August 2012, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New
York rejected Argentina's argument that the subpoenas should be
quashed because it would infringe on its sovereign immunity.
Verrilli said in his brief that the appeals court
"erroneously permitted blanket discovery into a foreign state's
assets located outside the United States."
NML, a unit of billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer's
Elliott Management Corp, is one of several bondholders which
rejected offers accepted by other investors to swap the
defaulted debt for new paper at a steep discount. The other
major player is Aurelius Capital Management.
Last month, in the more high-profile case, the same appeals
court declined to reconsider an order requiring Argentina to pay
$1.33 billion, ruling in favor of the bondholders. Argentina is
now expected to seek a Supreme Court review in that case.
The case in which the U.S. government filed the brief this
week is Argentina v. NML Capital Ltd, U.S. Supreme Court,