YPF SA (YPF), Argentina’s largest energy company, rose the most in a decade after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner didn’t address a potential nationalization of the company as speculated in local media reports.
YPF surged 17 percent to 146 pesos in Buenos Aires trading, the most since Jan. 2002.
Fernandez announced no takeover or measures against YPF in her speech to Congress today. Newspaper Ambito Financiero reported yesterday she could announce a takeover or intervention in Buenos Aires-based YPF in the annual speech to Congress, without saying where it obtained the information. The government has been putting pressure since January on oil companies to increase investments after fuel imports doubled last year.
YPF plunged 14 percent between Feb. 28 and 29, the biggest two-day slide since March 2009, on the nationalization speculation. The stock has declined 34 percent in the last 12 months, more than a 20 percent drop in Argentina’s benchmark Merval index.
Argentina and Spain’s governments formed a working group to resolve their “differences” over YPF, Spain’s Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said today before Fernandez’s speech. YPF’s majority stakeholder is Repsol YPF SA (REP), Spain’s largest energy company.
YPF’s board meeting on Feb. 23 was declared “irregular” yesterday by the country’s securities regulator after three government officials were barred from attending the meeting with Roberto Baratta, the government’s board representative.
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