An Argentine navy ship was given a triumphant homecoming mid last week, three months after it was seized in Ghana on behalf of a hedge fund suing over defaulted government bonds. The “ARA Libertad'', a tall sailing ship used as a training vessel, was detained in the West African nation on Oct. 2, due to a court order obtained by NML Capital Ltd as it fought to get full repayment for the bonds in the courts. Argentina's government, which calls funds like NML “vultures'' asked a UN maritime court to intervene and the Hamburg-based tribunal ordered the ship's release last month. The detention of the Libertad during a tour of Africa was a blow for Argentina's efforts to put the 2002 debt crisis behind it and drew a furious response from left-leaning President Christina Fernandez. Fernandez hailed the Libertad's return as a triumph of sovereignty over “anarcho-capitalism.’’ “The vultures were there but, we didn't listen to them, we listened to the people's demand,’’ she said. “We're going to keep on fighting because no one's going to get anything out of Argentina with extortion and strong-arm tactics,’’ she told a crowd of supporters and vacationers in the seaside town of Mar del Plata. Plumes of white and sky blue smoke – representing the colors of the national flag, and a celebratory fly-past greeted the ship as it pulled into harbour. Latin America's third-biggest economy has yet to return to global credit markets 11 years since staging the biggest sovereign debt default in history and legal wrangling with creditors continues. A U.S. appeals court will start hearing oral arguments next month in a case that could eventually force Argentina to pay bondholders who rejected two debt restructurings in 2005 and 2010 to battle for full payment in the courts. In order to avoid the risk of having the presidential plane seized by holdout creditors, Fernandez has hired a private aircraft for a four-nation tour of Asia and the Middle East at a cost of 880,000 dollars, the government said
Chinese Firm Invests US$185 Million In Djibouti
It can be confirmed that China Merchants, a Hong Kong-based firm has acquired a 23.5% share in the Port of Djibouti (PDSA) for US$185 million.
According to China Merchants, the acquisition, the company’s second in as many weeks, will enhance “the group’s positioning in the increasingly affluent African market”.
PDSA’s assets include a multipurpose cargo facility in Djibouti Port and a 66.7% stake in the Dolareh Container Terminal, which its joint owner DP World calls “the most technologically advanced container terminal in the African continent.”
The Port of Djibouti is vital to the country’s economy due to its strategic location on the Red Sea – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The port is used as a gateway to landlocked-Ethiopia in the south and as a transshipment hub for trade from countries on Africa’s east coast.