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ECONOMY | 28-09-2023 21:12

Argentina says US$16-billion US judgment is 20% of its budget

Argentina said it wants to delay paying a US$16-billion court judgment over its 2012 expropriation of oil company YPF SA.

Argentina said it wants to delay paying a US$16-billion court judgment over its 2012 expropriation of oil company YPF SA.

The government is appealing the September 15 award in hopes it won’t ever have to pay. Failing that, the nation wants to put off paying at least for the year or so it would take for its appeal to be decided.  

The judgment equals almost 20 percent of the nation’s budget, lawyer Robert Giuffra said in a letter to the court Wednesday night. That amount would be impossible to pay by October 16, the date sought by former YPF shareholders, whose claims are being pursued by litigation funder Burford Capital.

London-based Burford stands to receive the largest share of the award, or around US$6.2 billion. It said last week that it needed to begin collection efforts right away because Argentina “has no intention of paying the judgment.”

Giuffra argued in his letter that Argentina “has paid prior judgments as quickly as possible,” citing a 2016 settlement with a group of investors, led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, over the nation’s 2001 sovereign debt default. 

The case is Petersen Energia Inversora SAU. v. Argentine Republic, 15-cv-02739, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

by Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg

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