Vulture Funds and Sovereign Debts
Ufuoma Barbara Akpotaire
Columbia University - School of Law
April 10, 2011
On March 28, 2011, the U.K. Government took a bold step. It adopted legislation that made permanent, a temporary Debt Relief Act that limits vulture funds from being able to make massive profits from the 40 most impoverished countries debt in British courts, following a major campaign coordinated by the Jubilee Debt Campaign. This law became the first of its kind anywhere in the world and has already saved Liberia $40 million. This article will examine the nature of vulture funds and the implications of these investors on the secondary market for the African sovereign debt. The article will also look at the earlier U.K. decision in Donegal v. Zambia and what possibilities this new law that prohibits enforcement of vulture funds might have on such investors and on developing countries. Finally, this article will examine how other countries like the U.S. and China are currently dealing with the issue of vulture funds especially in the context of the case of FG Hemisphere Associates LLC v. Democratic Republic of Congo.
Keywords: Africa, creditor, development, hedge funds, private equity, vulture funds, vulture investors, sovereign debt, secondary markets, Zambia
JEL Classification: K22, F34, F35, H63working papers series
Date posted: April 12, 2011 ; Last revised: March 7, 2013
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