Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Argentina’s plan to seize 51 percent of oil company YPF SA, (YPFD) the nation’s largest crude producer, is “very regrettable.”
“No one in their right mind would invest in a country that expropriates investments,” Calderon said today in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, according to a transcript of his remarks during the World Economic Forum on Latin America.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seized control of YPF SA, ousting Spanish owner Repsol YPF SA (REP) after a dispute over slumping oil output and investments.
Argentina took over management of YPF with immediate effect, replacing Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Eskenazi with Planning Minister Julio De Vido, Fernandez said yesterday in a speech in Buenos Aires. The government will also send a bill to Congress to take a 51 percent stake in YPF, she said.
“This is absolutely a not very responsible measure,” Calderon said. “It is clearly in violation of treaties and accords about the reciprocity of investments.”
The takeover follows more than two months of increasing government pressure on YPF after fuel imports doubled to $9.4 billion last year. The country sought to block YPF dividends and backed provincial governments when they revoked 15 oil field licenses. Fernandez also seized a $24 billion pension fund and airline Aerolineas Argentinas SA since taking office in 2007.
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