US court adds $5.4 billion to Argentine debt payment bill; government vows to appeal



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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A U.S. judge has multiplied the size of Argentina's debt to holdout bondholders and the country's government says it will appeal.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa on Friday added $5.4 billion to the total he says Argentina owes holdouts who refused earlier debt restructuring deals after a historic debt default in 2001. He says that money is due to about 500 bondholders with claims similar to those of investors who earlier won rulings for Argentina to pay them some $1.5 billion.

Argentina has consistently rejected his orders to pay holdouts at the same time it pays the majority of bondholders, who accepted cut-rate deals.

The country's Economy Ministry says in a statement that it will appeal a ruling that would mean "stratospheric gains" for speculators what it calls "vulture funds."

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