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Argentina Requests Relief From Burford’s Intent to Seize Assets – Bloomberg

 Argentina says seizing assets after Jan. 10 would be premature
Ruling this week stems from $16.1 billion YPF lawsuit
Argentina says seizing assets after Jan. 10 would be premature. Ruling this week stems from $16.1 billion YPF lawsuit (Reuters)

Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 01 09 2024

Argentina has asked a Manhattan court to stop Burford Capital from immediately trying to seize its foreign assets as the hedge fund seeks to collect on billions of dollars that a judge ruled it is owed by the South American country.

In a filing on Monday to US District Judge Loretta Preska Argentina opposed Burford’s intention to start the process to seize assets straight after Jan. 10, calling the timing “unnecessary and premature.” In several other cases, the country’s lawyers wrote, “courts have found much longer periods to be ‘reasonable.’” Preska, who is expected to rule on the timing of this issue Tuesday, has already granted multiple delays on enforcing the case. 

Burford had moved in its own filing for the day after Jan. 10 to be determined as a “reasonable period of time” for it to begin trying to seize foreign assets. That’s the deadline by which Argentina has to pledge a guarantee to plaintiffs — one of two requirements it must meet in order for Preska to extend a stay of enforcement on her $16.1 billion ruling pending the country’s appeal to a higher court.

In court, Argentina has said it has no intention of pledging the guarantee — YPF shares and receivables from a hydroelectric plant — and it isn’t on track either to meet the second requirement of requesting an expedited appeals process. President Javier Milei, who took office Dec. 10, reiterated in December Argentina doesn’t have the money to pay and floated the idea of paying plaintiffs with a perpetual bond, a proposal met with swift skepticism by analysts. 

The case against Argentina was brought by companies that didn’t receive a tender offer when the nation’s biggest oil producer, YPF SA, was nationalized in 2012 — a violation of YPF’s statute at the time. Burford is financing their case and is entitled to a big portion of the $16.1 billion ruling.

bloomberg.com 01 08 2024

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