June 13, 2017 / 12:55 PM / 6 months ago

Creditors file U.S. objection to Azeri IBA restructuring

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - A group of International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) creditors has filed an objection in a U.S. court against the state-run bank’s $3.3 billion debt restructuring plan.

Asset managers Fidelity Management & Research Company and Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd and hedge funds Promeritum Fund SPC and VR Global Partners LP are members of the group, which holds some $220 million worth of IBA bonds.

“The debt impairment IBA will seek to carry out and enforce in the United States through the auspices of this Court will be implemented through a process that runs roughshod over certain fundamental rights of IBA’s creditors,” the creditors said in a statement filed on Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the southern district of New York.

The plan would “benefit equity holders, the largest of which are instrumentalities of the Republic”, it said.

The group is represented by law firm Shearman and Sterling.

IBA, Azerbaijan’s largest lender, has petitioned the court to recognise the restructuring process as a so-called foreign main proceeding.

Under U.S. Chapter 15 bankruptcy code, recognition of a foreign main proceeding - a proceeding pending in a country where the debtor’s centre of main interest is located - can help a foreign entity protect its property in the United States.

IBA said last month it was suspending payments on some liabilities and seeking creditors’ support to restructure $3.3 billion of debt, mostly owed to foreign creditors. (Reporting by Sujata Rao; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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