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Argentina Stock Exchange Chief Denies Boudou’s Bribe Claim

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- The head of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Adelmo Gabbi, said he will seek legal action against Vice President Amado Boudou for accusing him of soliciting a bribe in a scandal over a bankrupt company.

Boudou, 49, had his Buenos Aires apartment searched by officials on April 4 as part of an investigation into whether he improperly helped Ciccone Calcografica SA, a printing company, exit bankruptcy. In a 40-minute televised speech the following day, Boudou said Gabbi last year solicited a bribe on behalf of another company to help him resolve legal problems. Boudou added that he never took any steps to “favor” Ciccone.

“I categorically deny that this happened,” Gabbi, 68, said in an April 7 e-mailed statement. “I will have to take the strongest legal action for this to safeguard my name and honor.”

Boudou today filed a sworn statement to the court ratifying his claim against Gabbi, a preliminary step required before authorities decide whether to initiate an investigation, according to an official in the vice president’s office who declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The filing comes 13 months after Boudou said the bribe request was first made.

Boudou, who was economy minister from 2009-2011, said his only action related to Ciccone was to respond to a letter from the country’s tax agency about the company, writing that it was the government’s policy to protect jobs. He described the controversy as a “media-inspired soap opera” intended to undermine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government.

“It is the policy of our government to protect jobs and strategic companies,” Boudou said in his April 5 speech. “We are going to protect all the companies in Argentina, as we have been doing, when these firms create jobs and substitute imports.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Faries in Buenos Aires at wfaries@bloomberg.net

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

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