Fernandez meets billionaire investor Soros in New York
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[September 23, 2014] BUENOS
AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez
met on Monday with Argentina bondholder and billionaire
financier George Soros, who is suing a U.S. bank caught
in the middle of the country's latest default.
A spokesman for Soros said they had discussed topics including the
The meeting came as Fernandez's leftist government struggles to
kick-start growth and contain runaway consumer prices after failing
to complete a June interest payment to Soros and other holders of
bonds restructured after a previous default.
Soros' portfolio also includes a 3.5 percent stake in Argentina's
state-controlled energy firm YPF <YPFD.BA>. Buenos Aires has
frequently cited the Hungarian-born magnate's investments in the
country as a signal of investor confidence in the $490 billion
“President Kirchner and Mr. Soros discussed a range of topics,
including the prospects for Argentina's economy, recent positive
developments in Argentina's energy and hydrocarbons sector, and drug
policy reform in Latin America,” said Michael Vachon, a spokesman
for Soros, without giving further details.
Local media had reported Fernandez would be looking to shore up
support for her unflinching stance against a small group of
investors whose decade-long debt row with Argentina triggered July's
Fernandez is in the United States ahead of the United Nations
General Assembly, as relations between Buenos Aires and Washington
sour over the role a U.S. court played in Argentina's debt saga.
Argentina plunged into its second default in 12 years when a
Manhattan judge ordered trustee agent Bank of New York Mellon Corp <BK.N>
not to pass a $539 coupon payment on to bondholders until the
government resolved its fight with the small group of so-called
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Those investors, led by NML Capital Ltd and Aurelius Capital
Management, spurned the terms of restructuring after Argentina's
record 2002 default on $100 billion and want full payment for bonds
they snapped up on the cheap.
Argentina said the judge had overstepped his bounds and repeatedly
demanded BNY Mellon pass on the money.
Soros' Quantum Partners hedge fund is one of four creditors that
sued BNY Mellon in London last month, accusing the trustee agent of
protecting its own interest by obeying the court.
The other plaintiffs are Knighthead Master Fund, RGY Investments LLC
and Hayman Capital Master Fund.
Argentina last week enacted a new law removing BNY Mellon as trustee
and replacing it with a state-controlled bank in Buenos Aires. In an
advertisement published in local papers on Monday, Argentina again
demanded the U.S. bank "resign" as paying agent.
Index provider FTSE has cut Argentina from its frontier equity
index, citing the country's stringent capital controls for its
demotion to "unclassified market status." The change will take
effect in June.
(Reporting by Richard Lough and Walter Bianchi; Additional reporting
by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Catherine Evans)
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