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Argentina takes debt case to US securities watchdog

Argentina will ask the US markets watchdog to probe two hedge funds in a US$1.3 billion debt battle that plunged the country into its second default since 2001, the government said on Monday (August 4).

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina will ask the US markets watchdog to probe two hedge funds in a US$1.3 billion debt battle that plunged the country into its second default since 2001, the government said on Monday (August 4).

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich accused the hedge funds of using "privileged information" that would allow them to manipulate the markets and create volatility in order to make "incredible profits."

Capitanich also announced that Buenos Aires will formally ask a US judge to dismiss the mediator in the case, Daniel Pollack, accusing him of failing to be impartial.

Argentina went into default last Wednesday after it failed to resolve a dispute with the hedge funds, which refuse to take a write-down that has been accepted by most of the country's other creditors.

A New York judge prevented Argentina to make a US$539 million interest payment to the creditors who had accepted the debt restructuring deal unless it also repays the hedge funds in full.

Most creditors have accepted a 70 per cent cut in their bond holdings as part of a deal reached after Argentina defaulted on US$100 billion in debt in 2001.

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