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Argentine Stocks: Banco Frances, Macro, Galicia, Metrogas, YPF

The following companies had unusual price changes in Argentine trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and share prices are as of the close in Buenos Aires. The Merval index fell 3 percent to 2,234.38.

Bank stocks fell today on speculation the government may order a compulsory purchase of bonds, Carlos Aszpis, an equity strategist at Buenos Aires-based Schweber & Cia., said in a phone interview. Fitch Ratings said in a report May 9 that the risk of a compulsory bond purchase can’t be ruled out.

Grupo Financiero Galicia SA (GGAL AF), the country’s largest consumer lender, retreated 2.7 percent to 2.92 pesos, its fourth day of losses. Banco Macro SA (BMA AF), Argentina’s largest lender by market share, retreated 4.6 percent to 8.55 pesos. BBVA Banco Frances SA (FRAN AF) fell 2.4 percent to 8.20 pesos. It rose 1.2 percent earlier today after reporting May 11 a 24 percent increase in quarterly profit.

A press official at the Economy Ministry declined to comment.

Metrogas SA (METR AF) retreated 8.8 percent to 0.52 peso, its third day of losses. The natural gas distribution company requested from regulators an extra 30 days to present its first-quarter results, after YPF SA, Argentina’s largest oil company and a stakeholder in Metrogas, asked the company to postpone a board meeting until the end of May.

YPF SA (YPFD AF) dropped 7.1 percent, the most in four weeks, to 82.95 pesos.

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