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Hedge fund labels Argentina a nation of 'outlaws' over debt payment switch

NEW YORK--One of two hedge funds that sued Argentina over defaulted bonds branded the country's leaders “outlaws” Wednesday after Buenos Aires moved to shift its bond payment method.

“Argentina's leaders have literally chosen to be outlaws. They have chronically flouted U.S. court orders, lied to our courts, and proclaimed utter disdain for our courts,” Aurelius Capital Management said.

On Wednesday Buenos Aires revealed a plan to shift interest payments to holders of the country's restructured bonds to an Argentine bank processor rather than the Bank of New York Mellon, to shirt the freeze a New York judge put on BNY Mellon's processing those payments.

A ruling by the judge, Thomas Griesa, that Argentina must pay in full the hedge funds for their bonds at the same time it pays interest to restructured bond holders, and the subsequent freeze on the bank, forced the country into default at the end of July.

That came even though Argentina had placed US$539 million in a BNY Mellon account to make a scheduled interest payment to creditors.

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