Argentina Seizes Control of YPF

Spanish owner Repsol is ousted after dispute over declining oil output.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seized control of YPF SA, the nation’s largest crude producer, ousting Spanish owner Repsol YPF SA after a dispute over slumping oil output and investments.

Argentina took over management of YPF with immediate effect, replacing Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Eskenazi with Planning Minister Julio De Vido, Fernandez said yesterday in a speech in Buenos Aires. The government will also send a bill to Congress to take a 51 percent stake in YPF, she said.

‘Hostile Decision’

YPF American depositary receipts tumbled 11 percent to $19.50 before being halted yesterday in New York. Earlier, they plunged as much as 21 percent to $17.41.

‘International Isolation’

“This expropriation is madness and its only result will be international isolation,” opposition lawmaker Julian Obliglio said in an e-mailed statement. “The President has broken a history of tradition, respect and solidarity that link us to Spain.”

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