Bloomberg News

Top Mexican Candidates Reject Expropriation After YPF Seizure

April 17, 2012

Mexico’s two leading presidential candidates rejected oil expropriation as an effective energy strategy in comments today at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

They spoke a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the government would take control of YPF SA (YPFD), the South American nation’s largest oil company. Repsol YPF SA, Spain’s biggest oil company, held a majority stake in the company.

“The route of expropriation, and especially in energy matters, is not what most promotes investment or generates greater confidence,” said Enrique Pena Nieto, the candidate from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. He leads opinion polls ahead of Mexico’s July 1 election.

Pena Nieto and Josefina Vazquez Mota, the candidate from the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, have both called for overhauling Mexico’s energy laws to allow greater private sector investment. Mexico expropriated foreign oil companies in 1938 and created state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos.

“I don’t agree that expropriation is the way to prosperity,” Vazquez Mota said.

Vazquez Mota had 21 percent support in a poll released April 16 by Grupo Economistas Asociados-ISA, up from 18 percent on April 11. She remains about 19 percentage points behind the front-runner, Pena Nieto, who had 40 percent support in the face-to-face survey of 1,148 people from April 14 to April 16.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, was third with 14 percent support. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan Case in Dallas at bcase4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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