Kicillof responds to holdout critics: They have never lent to Argentina


Economy minister Axel Kicillof has responded fiercely to criticisms directed at him and the Argentine government by Elliott Management portfolio manager Jay Newman, reminding the representative of the holdout investors that they have never lent a cent to the nation.

The politician responded a day after Newman wrote a column in the Financial Times, suggesting that his and other Argentine officials’ intransigent attitude was preventing a settlement in the case presided over by judge Thomas Griesa in New York.

“It is a paradox for a vulture fund like Elliott to try and clean up its reputation by adopting the representation of pensioners and defaulted bondholders. The only truth here is that NML Capital Elliott, which has its base in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying US taxes, bought Argentine bonds in 2008 and immediately sued Argentina,” Kicillof affirms in an open letter published today.

“These bonds, unpaid since 2001, were acquired with the sole aim of obtaining a favourable ruling in order to make an exorbitant profit.

“Mr Newman is trying to portray Argentina as a country that does not negotiate. This is completely untrue. After long negotiations, Argentina offered two debt swaps, in 2005 and 2010, which were voluntarily accepted by 92.4 percent of bondholders.”

The minister continued to address Newman’s claim that Argentina were unwilling to negotiate, claiming that it was in fact the vultures who shied away from talks.

“The vulture funds have never negotiated. They have never lent money to Argentina. NML bought bonds at a value close to 50 million dollars. Judge Griesa’s order would allow NML to be paid more than 800 million dollars, a profit of 1,600 percent in just six years,” he pointed out.

“If instead of suing NML had accepted the debt swaps they would have tripled or even cuadrupled their investment. But they want more than 300 percent profit, since they are not creditors of good faith for emerging countries.

“They are what they are: judicial and financial vultures.”

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

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