ROME--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Today, retail investors from countries including Argentina, Belgium, Italy and Germany banded together to call on the Argentine government to offer a reasonable resolution to outstanding debt disputes. Calls to Argentine President Kirchner to negotiate with holdout creditors have increased in the weeks following a U.S. Supreme Court decision denying appeal of an U.S. District Court injunction that demands that holdouts be paid on par with other bondholders. Thousands of investors, many of whom have waited more than a decade for the Argentine government to offer fair return on their investments following the nation's historic 2001 default, are coming forward to express their desire to reach a settlement. (See: It's High Time Argentina Talked to Its Creditors.)
“This is a matter of basic dignity”
“The Argentine government has stolen my savings, which I invested in good faith," stated Gianfranco Lucifora, an Italian investor. "The country clearly has the ability to pay the debt owed to pensioners like myself; it simply refuses to do so. The Argentine government put forth ridiculously low, take-it-or-leave-it offers which have wiped out individuals’ pensions and life savings as well as children’s college funds. It has been a maddening struggle for me and fellow Italian investors, but despite Buenos Aires' recalcitrance, we will not give up."
“I have refused to even entertain the idea to agree to lose 70% of the value of my investment in Argentina," said Luc de Meester of Belgium, who first invested in Argentine bonds 16 years ago. "When I purchased these bonds, the Argentine government guaranteed that the bonds would remain true to value. But in the meantime, there has never — not once -- been a serious offer, so I'm holding out. I would be happy to come to a decent agreement after all these years of waiting.”
“This is a matter of basic dignity," said Horacio Vázquez, an Argentine whose struggle to win fair compensation has been documented in The Miami Herald. "The government encouraged citizens to invest our life savings in sovereign bonds. But after investing in our nation's growth, they simply failed to honor their contractual obligations, and we were devastated. We offered to deal with the government several times, but officials unilaterally refused to negotiate. If only President Kirchner would satisfy debts to private creditors, that act alone would immediately benefit all of South America through reduced credit rates. It would provide great benefit to the Argentine people as well."
By investing savings in Argentina, retail investors from across the globe trusted the Argentine government's promises to satisfy its payment obligations. Despite the nation's dramatic economic rebound (in part fueled by these investments), officials have yet to put forward an equitable payment offer. Thousands of retail bondholders continue to demand a fair exchange that would absolve Argentina’s decade-old debt stand-off.
Released by Comitato Holdouts Bonds Repubblica Argentina (COHBRA), an independent association of Italian holdout bondholders.