Argentina retracts its plan to privatize YPF

Isbel Lázaro.
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privatizar YPF

They reconsider privatizing YPF

Argentina’s president, Javier Milei, has reconsidered his intention to privatize YPF , the state oil company as part of a broad state reform. On January 22, congressional leaders presented an updated version of the bill, which was proposed in late December.

The new proposal eliminates 141 articles from the original project, which consisted of 664, and makes numerous modifications, including those related to the energy sector . The Government sought to have the legislation reviewed by the commissions before January 26 for approval in the plenary session of Congress before February 15.

Notably, YPF has been involved in a decade-long legal dispute that is nearing its conclusion. Last September, Judge Loretta Preska of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that Argentina should pay more than 16 billion dollars, both in capital and interest, due to the decision to nationalize the company in 2012.

Judge Preska ruled in favor of Petersen Energía Inversora and Eton Park Capital Management, who were minority shareholders of YPF when the State took control of the company from the Spanish Repsol. In early January, the judge rejected a request to suspend the sentence, thus allowing creditors to seize YPF.

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The exclusion of YPF was not the only modification in the energy sector, since the state nuclear energy company, Nucleoeléctrica Argentina , was also removed from the privatization block. The updated version of the bill also alters Article 258, eliminating most regulations for the production, transportation and sale of oil and gas. Although the Government cannot set prices, the updated project gives the State the ability to intervene in case of problems to guarantee the supply of oil or gas.

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