Argentina fails in bid to halt 645 mln euro UK lawsuit over GDP warrants

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Argentina has lost an attempt to halt a lawsuit in English courts brought by four hedge funds which say the country has manipulated economic data to avert payments in connection with growth-linked sovereign debt instruments.

Asset managers Palladian Partners L.P., HBK Master Fund L.P, Hirsh Group LLC and Virtual Emerald International Limited said they are owed from 525 million-645 million euros ($607 million-$746 million) in payments linked to the GDP warrants designed to pay out to investors if a number of growth criteria targets are met or exceeded.

The funds allege that a change in statistics published by Argentina had resulted in the instruments’, which were issued in 2005 and 2010 as part of a debt restructuring, no longer qualifying for payout.

The government said it had to change the way it measured gross domestic product as the previous way of doing so no longer accurately reflected the country’s economy.

Judge Sara Cockerill in a ruling handed down on Tuesday at the High Court in London dismissed Argentina’s application to halt proceedings, paving the way for a full trial to go ahead.

In January, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2019 by New York-based hedge fund Aurelius Capital against Argentina, also related to an alleged payment shortfall linked to 2013 GDP warrants. ($1 = 0.8643 euros) (Reporting by Karin Strohecker and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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