For all the embarrassment hedge fund titan Paul Singer caused Argentina by seizing one of its navy ships, the biggest triumph in a decade-long dispute brings him just 1 percent closer to recouping his $1.6 billion claim.By By Drew Benson and Katia Porzecanski to Bloomberg
Hedge fund titan still lacks the leverage to compel the government to settle, even after Argentina sought help from the United Nations, evacuated part of the 326 member crew and fired the head of its navy since Ghana impounded the training vessel on behalf of Singer on Oct. 2, according to Anna Gelpern, a professor at Georgetown University. Paul Singer, who owns debt from Argentina’s $95 billion default, rejected two restructuring offers that paid investors 30 cents on the dollar and is seeking to force the South American country to repay in full.
While Singer’s efforts from freezing Argentine central bank funds in New York to seizing the navy’s tall ship in Africa have failed to result in payouts, Argentina’s unwillingness to resolve the claims has also prevented the nation from tapping the international credit markets for more than a decade. That’s prompted the government to use foreign reserves to pay debt and increased its borrowing costs to more than double the 4.65 percent average for developing nations.
“It’s getting loopier and loopier,” Gelpern said in a telephone interview from Washington. “They’re throwing mud at the wall to see what will stick.”
Peter Truell, a spokesman for Singer’s New York-based hedge fund Elliot Management Corp., declined to comment on the ship seizure and the firm’s attempts to recoup its money.