Argentina Government Moves to Seize Oil Companies

Argentina recently made imported books all but illegal and nationalized newsprint. Now the country’s socialist President Cristina Kirchner has sent a bill to the congress to nationalize the oil and gas companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is how socialists operate.

The move fired up a battle with the company’s Spanish controlling shareholder and the Madrid government.

Under the proposal, which declares the petroleum industry of “national public interest,” Argentina’s federal and provincial governments would take 51% of the company, now majority owned by Repsol YPF SA of Spain. The move is sure to be approved in Argentina’s Congress, where the leftist Mrs. Kirchner’s governing Peronist party holds a majority.

Initial indications were that the government would take its stake entirely out of Repsol’s shares, which would leave the company with roughly 6% of YPF, down from 57%.

YPF’s market value was $10.6 billion as of Friday in Argentina. Its American depositary shares fell 11% in New York trading on Monday. Mrs. Kirchner’s bill calls for YPF’s shareholders to be compensated at a value to be determined by a federal tribunal. (Read More)

The article goes on to note that the move won’t be without consequences, not that Kirchner cares.

Hey, does anybody remember when Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) blurted out how she would like to nationalize oil companies?