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Argentina's YPF says its assets can't be embargoed by country's creditors

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's state oil producer, YPF, said on Saturday that since it is an "independent" company its assets cannot be embargoed by so-called holdout investors who are demanding full payment following the country's massive 2002 bond default.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Argentina could not continue to pay creditors who agreed to restructure their bonds after its 2001-02 default on $100 billion in debt unless it also paid $1.33 billion to the holdouts demanding full payment.

"YPF is an independent company and is governed as such in accordance to law. Its assets don't belong to the Republic of Argentina, and as such cannot be embargoed by the Republic of Argentina's creditors," the oil firm told Reuters.

President Cristina Fernandez said on Friday her government would negotiate with all of Argentina's creditors in a bid to avoid a new debt default that would further weaken the country's ailing economy.

Her government had threatened on Wednesday that it could default on its debt, saying it could not afford to make its next bond payment, due June 30, if it had to pay the holdouts as well as the owners of its restructured bonds.

The holdout creditors are led by NML Capital Ltd, a division of billionaire Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp, and Aurelius Capital Management, chaired by Mark Brodsky.

Argentina struck a $5 billion compensation deal this year with Spain's Repsol over the 2012 nationalization of its Argentine energy unit YPF, and agreed to pay $9.7 billion in overdue debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations.

(Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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