Argentina publishes US newspaper advert against 'vulture funds'

Anti-vulture funds demo in Argentina, 20 June 14 "Nation, yes! Vultures, no!" reads the banner displayed by government supporters

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The Argentine government has published an advert in US newspapers denouncing a recent court ruling in favour of hedge fund investors.

The investors bought Argentine government bonds at a big discount after the country defaulted on its debts in 2001.

Last week the US Supreme Court ruled that Argentina must pay the funds the full $1.3bn (£766m) value of the debt.

"Paying the vulture funds is a path leading to default," says the advert.

The full-page message was published in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal and also in the New York Times and Washington Post.

"Argentina wants to carry on paying its debts, as it has been doing since 2005," reads the advert.

"But the country has been prevented by the ruling from judge Thomas Griesa [in August 2013] and the Supreme Court's decision [last week] to refuse to take on the case," reads the message.

'Negotiations'

The Argentine government has been in a 12-year legal battle in the US courts against investors who have refused to agree to join a debt restructuring agreement.

Judge Griesa from a US appeals court in New York ruled last year in favour of the funds. The Supreme Court last week turned down Argentina's appeal.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Rosario, 20 June 14 Ms Fernandez was re-elected in October 2011 to a second four-year term

The South American country defaulted in 2001 following an economic crisis, and has been in a legal battle with bondholders led by hedge funds NML and Aurelius Capital Management.

Under a deal, 92% of bondholders agreed in 2005 and 2010 to write off two-thirds of the bonds' pre-crisis value, providing Argentina with time to re-build its economy.

But the hedge funds owning the remaining 8% held out against the restructuring.

Despite the rhetoric, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has indicated that her government is willing to negotiate with the "vulture funds".

"We have requested that the judge in New York seek fair terms for 100% of creditors to be paid," Ms Fernandez said during the National Flag ceremony in the city of Rosario on Friday.

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