November 13, 2010 / 5:42 AM / 8 years ago

Canada raises Scotiabank claim case with Argentina

* Scotiabank said it wanted $600 million in compensation

* Argentina indicates dispute could be close to resolution

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada has raised with Argentina a long-running claim by Bank of Scotia (BNS.TO) for compensation from Buenos Aires, amid signs the matter could be close to a resolution.

In 2005 the bank said it wanted more than $600 million in damages to make up for losses suffered when it shut down its Argentine banking unit during a messy currency crisis in 2002.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper raised the issue with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Thursday on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Seoul, Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas said on Saturday. He declined to give further details.

Argentina’s Economy Minister Amado Boudou, speaking about the dispute, said in Seoul that “in 60 or 90 days it will be resolved. To that end, we are carrying out an audit”.

A dramatic currency devaluation and record sovereign debt default in Argentina pushed Scotiabank to close its Argentina subsidiary Quilmes in early 2002.

It wrote off the entire unit by taking a C$540 million ($535 million) charge against earnings and sold Quilmes for a fraction of its original worth.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Ed Davies

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