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"Vulture" fund Donegal Intl's claim for repayment against Zambia partly upheld by UK court - anti-poverty groups criticise decision, urge Donegal not to take money

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Article
15 February 2007

'Vulture' feeds on Zambia

Author: Ashley Seager, Guardian [UK]

A so-called "vulture" fund has been given permission by a British court to enforce a claim for tens of millions of dollars theoretically owed by Zambia. The decision was immediately slammed by campaign groups who demanded that governments of rich countries moved to stop such funds reclaiming debt from poor countries who had supposedly already had their debts written off. The high court ruled that a claim against Zambia by...Donegal International, owned by US citizen Michael Sheehan...was lawful.

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Article
15 February 2007

Vulture fund must not take cash from Zambia, say campaigners

Author: Oxfam & Jubilee Debt Campaign

In what is likely to be a welcome surprise to Zambia, the [UK] Royal Courts of Justice today ordered that the country should pay a much-reduced sum (to be decided next month) to a US company, Donegal International, as repayment on debts incurred more than a decade ago... Debt campaigners, Oxfam and Jubilee Debt Campaign, said that Donegal - a 'vulture fund' registered in the British Virgin Islands - should not accept even the reduced amount because Zambia, one of the poorest countries in the world, has qualified for debt relief and desperately needs the money it could bring... The amount claimed by Donegal was far more than Zambia is due to receive this year in debt relief... It is equivalent to more than six months of Zambia's health budget. [also refers to Debt Advisory International]

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Article
14 February 2007

'Vulture funds' threat to developing world

Author: Meirion Jones, BBC Newsnight

On Thursday...a...judge in London will rule whether a so-called vulture fund can extract more than $40m from Zambia for a debt which it bought for less than $4m. There are concerns that such funds are wiping out the benefits which international debt relief was supposed to bring to poor countries... Newsnight...[tried] to interview Paul Singer [principal of Elliott Capital Advisors]...who virtually invented vulture funds. In 1996 his company paid $11m for some discounted Peruvian debt and then threatened to bankrupt the country unless they paid $58m. They got their $58m. Now they're suing Congo Brazzaville for $400m for a debt they bought for $10m. We didn't get our interview. [also refers to Debt Advisory International, Greenberg Traurig]

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