Argentina beats hedge funds’ lawsuits in New York over nonpayments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Argentina won the dismissal of six lawsuits by Aurelius Capital Management and other hedge funds accusing the South American country of skipping payments on securities linked to how well its economy performs.

In a decision made public on Monday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan said the hedge funds had no right to sue because they failed to meet five preconditions required under “no-action” clauses in its bond agreements.

Such clauses are often included in bond agreements to limit litigation, including when individual bondholders want to pursue claims without support from other bondholders.

Lawyers for Aurelius hedge funds did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuits related to securities issued through sovereign debt restructurings in 2005 and 2010, which followed Argentina’s approximately $100 billion debt default in 2001.

The hedge funds claimed they had a right to additional payments when Argentina’s gross domestic product rose at least 3%, and were entitled to a payment for 2013.

According to court papers, Argentina changed its methodology for calculating GDP in 2014, and concluded that no payment was due for the prior year.

Argentina’s economy ministry declined to comment.

The Aurelius case is Aurelius Capital Master Ltd v Argentina, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-00351.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires; editing by Costas Pitas)

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