A US judge ordered Argentina to pay $5.2 billion to some 500 creditors seeking repayment on the same favorable terms given to other holders of the South American country's restructured debt.
In a 26-page ruling, US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa ruled that by refusing to make payment to some hedge fund and individual bondholders of its defaulted debt, while making payment to other creditors, Buenos Aires was in violation of an equal treatment provision in its contracts.
Griesa in a 2012 ruling sided with a group of hedge funds, led by NML and Aurelius Capital Management who for years have been trying to force Argentina to pay off some $1.3 billion in defaulted bonds they hold.
Now, on Friday, the judge ruled that his 2012 ruling should also apply to some 500 "me-too" bondholders who were not covered under the original decision.
Argentina has been refusing to pay the two hedge funds, arguing that they lost their claim when they refused to join a restructuring of nearly $100 billion in debt the country defaulted on in 2001.
This new ruling tightens the screws even more on Buenos Aires, which has railed against the "extortionary" tactics used by what it describes as "vulture funds" as it seeks to restructure its sovereign debt.