The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear the Argentine government’s challenge to lower court rulings ordering Buenos Aires to pay $1.3 billion to a group of hedge funds led by New York-based Elliott Management Corp.‘s NML Capital Ltd unit.
Denounced by Argentina as “vulture funds,” NML and other entities acquired risky Argentine bonds at high interest rates when Buenos Aires defaulted on the debt in 2001.
Those creditors have since refused to participate in restructurings in 2005 and 2010 that saw the vast majority of holders of Argentine sovereign debt accept a steep haircut.
Argentina says bondholders who participated in the debt restructurings would suffer unequal treatment if the country were to make full payment on the defaulted bonds to NML.
In a related case, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that NML and other bondholders can ask U.S. courts to compel Argentina to reveal the locations of assets.
Argentina’s position in that case was supported by the U.S. government, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief citing its own “substantial interest in the correct interpretation and application” of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Permitting more examinations of the assets owned by a foreign country could have adverse consequences for the United States, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. wrote in a brief submitted in March.