BUENOS AIRES – Argentina will continue paying bondholders on the same terms, its economy minister told state news agency Telam on Saturday, after losing an appeal in its legal battle with creditors who rejected past restructurings of the country's defaulted debt.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge's order on Friday requiring Argentina pay $1.33 billion to hedge funds still fighting the country over its record sovereign debt default more than a decade ago.
"We're going to keep paying as we have until now, on the same terms," Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino told Telam, calling the court ruling "an attempt to bring the country back to 2001."
The appeals court held off enacting its decision while the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether to take up the case, bringing short-term relief to investors concerned about another default.
The 93 percent of bondholders who renegotiated debts after Argentina's $100 billion default, accepting less than 30 cents on the dollar, worry the refusal to pay holdouts in the face of court orders could freeze payment on restructured bonds as well.
Dissident bondholders led by Aurelius Capital Management and NML Capital Ltd, a unit of Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp, are demanding payment in full. They have argued that Argentina can't deny them their due while paying investors who agreed to restructurings in 2005 and 2010.
(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Xavier Briand)