Cristina against the World?

by Andrew Stuttaford

Via Bloomberg:

Argentina has yet to give Spanish energy company Repsol any official notice of its plans to wrest control of the company’s majority stake in its South American YPF unit, Repsol said Friday as tensions increased between Spain and Argentina.

Repsol made the announcement just hours after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez met with top key members of her government to plot her government’s next moves regarding YPF, accused by Fernandez’ administration of paying out too much in profits and not investing enough in exploration and production.

“Repsol YPF SA informs that it has not received any notification from the (Argentine) authorities related to its stake in its subsidiary YPF SA,” the company said in a statement to Spanish securities regulators.

The company’s shares slumped 2.4 percent to (EURO)17.53 per share Friday morning in Madrid amid investor worries about what moves Argentina may take next regarding YPF, which represents 42 percent of Repsol’s total reserves, estimated at 2.1 billion barrels of crude.

Spain’s government has warned that any “hostile gestures” against Spanish companies doing business abroad would be seen by Madrid as an act of aggression. Fernandez responded late Thursday that she was “ready to pay all the prices that must be paid” to continue support for her model of growth in Argentina — but did not directly refer to the Repsol-YPF dispute.

This may be Peronism without Perón, but it’s likely to come to the same, dismal end.  Argentina deserves better.

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