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Argentina defies US judge over debt interest deposit

Argentina defies US judge over debt interest deposit
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Argentina has deposited a 161 million dollar debt interest payment in defiance of a US judge who held it in contempt for taking illegal steps to meet its obligations.

The South American country wants to show it can service its debt and that its failure to complete a payment to holders of bonds that were restructured after its 2002 default was the result of adverse U.S. judicial rulings.

“By making this deposit, Argentina confirms once again its unshakeable commitment to meet its obligations to bondholders,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement.

The central bank deposited the coupon payment on its foreign law Par bonds with the state-controlled Nacion Fideicomisos after the government removed the former trustee, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, in an attempt to skirt the U.S. court rulings.

Argentina defaulted in July after U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa blocked a previous coupon payment, ordering it pay in full a small group of U.S. hedge funds who rejected the terms of bond swaps in 2005 and 2010 before servicing its restructured debt.