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LatinNews Daily - 30 July 2020

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In brief: Ecuador faces bondholder lawsuit

* Two investment funds, Contrarian Capital Management (CCM) and Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co (GMO), have filed a legal complaint against the Ecuadorean state at a New York federal district court, accusing the Ecuadorean government of “market fraud” and “coercive exchange” in relation to the ongoing debt restructuring negotiations. CCM and GMO, who hold 3% of the US$17.4bn in debt currently under negotiation, formed part of the group of bondholders known as the ‘Steering Committee’, whose counter-proposal was rejected by Ecuador on 28 July. Ahead of the 31 July deadline to finalise an agreement, the Ecuadorean government nonetheless appears well set to secure the 66% support needed to secure a general agreement. This lawsuit therefore seeks to suspend the process, alleging that restructuring this debt without the consent of all bondholders represents illegal coercion. Ecuador’s economy ministry has condemned this “aggressive” attempt to secure “preferential treatment”, and insisted that “we will not give in to this attempt to boycott the process”, which “could cause a serious setback in the country’s economic and health recovery”, putting at risk “the future of millions of Ecuadoreans”.