May 25, 2013
Argentine training ship detained in Ghana by US bondholders
An Argentine navy ship has been detained in Ghana following a court order sought by “holdout” creditors suing Argentina in international courts over its 2002 debt default, officials said yesterday.
Argentina declared a world-record sovereign default during an economic meltdown a decade ago.
It faces numerous lawsuits in US courts by bondholders who want to recover the full value of the defaulted bonds and have sought to freeze state assets.
The bondholders, which the left-leaning government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner calls vulture funds, normally target foreign bank accounts held by state-run companies or government agencies.
“The vulture funds have crossed a new line in their attacks on Argentina,” a Foreign Ministry statement said. “The Foreign Ministry has already approached the African nation to clarify the stunt pulled by the unscrupulous financiers.”
“NML belongs to international speculator Paul Singer, who also is the main financier of the lobby operating in the United States court and justice system under the name of “ATFA” (American Task Force Argentina) to harm our country. Also, they release false information so some Argentine media monopolies can use, with the objective of harming Argentina,..., and refuses to join the 93 percent of investors who agreed to the debt re-estructuration,” the Foreign Ministry press release read.
It said NML Capital, an affiliate of the investment firm Elliott Management, had sought the court order.
A navy source said Libertad, a frigate that is used as a training vessel, would only be able to set sail if Ghanian courts lifted the order.
Libertad was visiting Ghana as part of a West African tour and it is due to head next to Angola.
Herald with Reuters