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Freitag, 29. November 2013

Lead Articles: El Cronista: “The best tribute is to put an end to the unsupported epic” El Cronista: “The holdout factor expands and erases the effect of “legislation risk”” Clarin: “The government still is not dispelling questions” Ambito Financiero: “Dialogues: Federico Tomasevich” Infolatam: “The negotiations between Repsol, YPF and Pemex: “Pecunia (et petroleum) non olet””

El Cronista
The best tribute is to put an end to the unsupported epic
Thursday, November 28, 2013
By Fernando Gonzalez
Now that all we Argentines must face the cost of the kicking-and-screaming expropriation of 51% of Repsol’s shares in YPF, the best tribute that the government could give to society is that we save ourselves from the punishment of the unsupported epic.  It is not necessary for Axel Kicillof to remind us of Spain’s cruelty in the days of the conquest for its descendants to now have to pay no less than US$5 billion for an asset that, according to the minister, wasn’t worth a penny.
Nor will it be necessary to continue with the diatribes against the vulture funds that didn’t enter the debt swap now that there will also be a payment offer for them.  It will also be wise not to curse the ICSID tribunal because we already promised to send US$500 million to it for five judgments and it’s likely there will be other payouts in the future.
It’s time to end with the put-downs of the Monetary Fund or the Paris Club in the President’s speeches.  That would be gestures of amiability in search of recovering the dollars that are going out from the reserves.  It’s enough that the government concentrate on attacking the big problems of our economy and abandon the overdose of rhetoric that was entombed by the weight of the consecutive electoral defeats.
El Cronista
The holdout factor expands and erases the effect of “legislation risk”
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The gap separating prices and yields on sovereign bonds under local law compared to those subject to New York law ended up disappearing last week.  The settlement of the lawsuit with the holdouts over the debt that remains in default doesn’t seem imminent, by which investors are not now finding any sense in paying less for a bond according to the jurisdiction in which it was issued.
“The continuation of the lawsuit with the holdouts, the result of the elections dispelled a re-re-election scenario for 2015, the agreement with the ICSID and the more pragmatic move that the government seems to be taking in economic policy are helping in understanding the rally that bonds have exhibited in recent months and that continued last week,” said a report from Econviews, the consulting firm led by Miguel Kiguel.
According to the report, the arrival of a new CPI and the recent announcement of a possible agreement with Repsol could continue pushing bond prices in the immediate future.
The notable item, however, is that the bonds under New York law seem to have had an even better performance than bonds subject to Argentine courts.
While yields on the Bonar X fell from 13.48% on average in September to 11.27% last Friday, the Global 17 went from yielding 16.07% to paying 11.47% in the same period.  The Discount in dollars under New York legislation also surpassed the speed in falling by its local peer: 344 basis points versus 297, in the same plaza.
With different speeds but that brings different paper to similar places: what happened, in reality, is that the difference between New York and local law was erased.
“For the first time since the ruling of the Court of Appeals in October 2012, legislation risk has disappeared, now that bonds under New York legislation are yielding the same as those under national legislation,” the report analyzed.
“In effect, there is no different in yield now in favor of the former, which had denoted a greater risk for New York law after the October 2012 ruling,” concluded the Econoviews analysis.
The government still is not dispelling questions
In the first week, the Capitanich-Kicillof tandem didn’t show all its cards.  But it did show that it’s seeking dollars.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
by Ezequiel Burgo
A week passed.  And the new government team didn’t show all its cards yet.  The political decisions of the change in Cabinet were important but not at the economic level, neither Jorge Capitanich, nor Axel Kicillof nor Juan Carlos Fábrega announced a road map for how they are thinking of transiting the most acute problem that the Argentine economy faces today: the fall in reserves.  And much less offer a path to how the fiscal, monetary and exchange rate variables will evolve.   For now, the only official role that offers a review of these numbers for next year continues to be for one along: the 2014 Budget.  But nobody is paying attention tot that yet.
What happened in the first week of the Capitanich-Kicillof tandem?
– The government announced the rise in the surtax on luxury cars, which was then changed.  
– It proposed an agreement to Repsol to compensate it for the expropriation of YPF.
– There was a handful of economic decisions by Capitanich and Kicillof.  They said, for example, that there will be no abrupt measures and that the plans are based on improving profitability of companies without affecting the people’s pocketbooks.  That from the Secretariat of Commerce that Augusto Costa will command, the balance sheets of the companies will be monitored to avoid their marking up prices and thus feeding inflation.
Also, during this first week, the economic leadership revealed the following decisions:
– That the government is working toward salary increases not surpassing 20% next year.
– Economy Minister Axel Kicillof is analyzing the new methodology to measure inflation.  Thus, he will seek to deactivate inflationary inertia.
– The government is moving to an adjustment in public service rates and maintain the rate of devaluation like in recent days (1.3% weekly).
But none of this was enough to dispel old questions.  While it is perceived that the exchange rate is the cheapest price of the economy, and that the dollar could rise, there will be any announcements nor revelations that will produce a concrete results.
Who will sell his dollars if he expects the government to devalue the currency?
Probably, beyond what the economic leadership set the press know that it will do on fiscal and monetary matters, the government will put all its chits into solving the reserves crisis by reopening external credit. The 95 billion dollars in exports that Capitanich put down for 2014 is not enough.  For that reason, the government is betting on the benefits of taking new debt.  Even Kicillof himself, or economist Aldo Ferrer, are in favor of taking loans abroad to exploit the Vaca Muerta deposit in Neuquén.
The agreement with Repsol of Spain would seem to be the first step in unblocking multilateral and bilateral financing.  What comes after remains seated in Washington. 
Ambito Financiero
Dialogues: Federico Tomasevich
"There are instruments for halting the exit of reserves”  
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The reporter dialogues with Federico Tomasevich, president of Puente, who said that there are numerous instruments that can be implemented to contain the exit of reserves like raising fixed interest rates in dollars up to 5% or issuing Lebac in that currency.  He assumes that with new officials, the “political handling of each ministry” is made clear.  
R.: How do you evaluate the changes in Cabinet announced?
Federico Tomasevich: The changes are very positive and above all opportune.   They widely dispel the situation of the political management inside each ministry.  The people named have unquestionable fitness but also administrative control, which at this time is needed for plans to advance that are being thought of for implementation.  Jorge Capitanich was twice a governor and a cabinet chief, has an admirable work capacity, he works 24 hours a day, possesses a knowledge of the situation and much experience as a legislator in financial economics.  He is a central figure in this new play by the government.  In the case of Axel Kicillof it’s important that it is also clear that he is the person that will be in charge of the economic tasks and that he will work in coordination with the Secretary of Interior Commerce.  
R.: Are important announcements expected in the short term?
F.T.: According to the statements that until now were made there will not be big changes but advances on already known issues.  The central question is how to contain the exit of hard currency and they are grabbing the pan by the handle.  For example, in regulating imports of luxury items.  It didn’t make sense for Argentina to lose reserves because someone wanted to have a yacht.  The issues that are being put forth at the start will lower the noise there has been.  In fact, since the announcement of the new officials and their first statements, country-risk has fallen quite a bit.  Since after the primary elections in reality, at least four international investment funds began to look at where to invest in Argentina.  After the resignation of Guillermo Moreno was learned of, the market went back up and also I think it’s positive that Hernan Lorenzino has been instructed to move forward on the conflictive issues like ICSID, Paris Club and the holdouts.  If he manages to begin to close that chapter an important chance opens up for the country to return to the international market.
R.: Will it be a right moment to issue new debt?
F.T.: Why not?  There are no big busts in the Argentine macro-economy by which it could emit debt with single-digit rates.  With this new map of the officials, all of the issues have an owner.  Whether they like it ideologically or not, all those in charge of resolving each issue has the fitness and is well received by the market.  The door is also opening for companies like YPF to do mega-projects that can only be done by entering the international debt market.
R.: What will happen with the exchange rate?
F.T.: Resolving the gap between the official and “blue” exchange rates is difficult.  What they are doing is to speed up the devaluation as quickly as possible to disincentivize importers from bringing in unnecessary goods.  If not then over-charging imports and undercharging exports will continue and that goes against the reserves.
R.: Do you expect that with Juan Carlos Fábrega in front of the BCRA, new instruments will be created to halt the flight of hard currency?
F.T.: He’s a man with knowledge and has good relations with all sectors.  There are many instruments that can be put forth.  For example, the fixed-rate on dollars is very low today.  They could increase it from the current 0.5% to 5% to have more deposits.  Those dollars will go into the reserves.  There would be even more people interested if the Central Bank issued Lebac in dollars.
R.: Will the halt that the capital markets reform suffered have negative consequences?
F.T.: The changes that were planned got complex.  It’s not taking advantage of an important opportunity to professionalize the capital markets that will have to be resolved as soon as possible.  It’s all being talked about too much.  In developed countries, the regulations are agreed to by consensus when they are being put together but afterwards what was planned has to be executed.  If everything is brought to court, there is a constant regression.
The negotiations between Repsol, YPF and Pemex: “Pecunia (et petroleum) non olet”
Monday, November 25, 2013
by Claudio Loser
The facts: on Monday the 25th, the news came out that the governments of Argentina and Spain reached an agreement in principle on compensation for the expropriation of 51% of YPF that happened in April 2012, subject to ratification of Repsol.  The negotiations was apparently strongly pushed by Pemex of Mexico, the second biggest shareholder in Repsol of Spain (10%).
The meeting was handled on the Argentine side by the new Economy Minister, Axel Kicillof, and the technocratic president of YPF, Miguel Galuccio.  The Spanish delegation includes Industry Minister José Manuel Soria; the president of Caixabank (Repsol’s top shareholder, with 13%), Isidro Fainé, and directors of Repsol.  Emilio Loyola of Pemex also participated.
According to the same sources, the final agreement will seek to fix the amount and form of compensation.  YPF, Repsol and Pemex will resign all legal actions that began with the expropriation.  Repsol will come out on this agreement on Wednesday the 27th.
The interpretation: The conjunction of three oil companies in trouble and three countries with a difficult economic situation made economic pragmatism almost inevitable, reflected in the headline of this article.  Despite the almost incomprehensible Marxist rhetoric of Kicillof, the offended posture of Repsol and the traditionally self-sufficient discourse of Pemex, it seems that the powerful gentlemen were the oil, gas and Lord Money, and they helped to focus the attention of the politicians.
For Spain and Repsol it’s important to strengthen relations with Latin America, and the position of an oil company and a financier in trouble, which will require a financial bailout if the problem of YPF is not resolved.  For Mexico, the solution of the conflict will strengthen Pemex at a time when the company is subject to serious and justified criticisms, and discussion is happening about opening the oil sector to competition, even without privatizing the company.
For Argentina this is a desperate step to solve the problems of the energy sector and the pending conflicts with foreign investors and financiers.  Even still, this is the first step, which seeks to attract technology and financing for a sector in crisis.  Certainly the government has much left to do, as without closing an agreement with the Paris Club and with private creditors (“holdouts”) in private debt, investors will have a lot of fear of bringing money to Argentina.
Argentina is fortunate to count on the third highest level of potential unconventional gas reserves, after the U.S. and China, but it doesn’t have either the money nor the knowledge to explore and exploit them.  Repsol and Pemex also don’t have the money and only some of the technology but they can get them both.  While I doubt it, perhaps for the pseudo-Keynesian and pseudo-Marxist Argentine government this is its Deng Xiaoping moment, which carried China to the path of market economy and integration into the world.  However, I fear that for them the market economy exists but it still smells bad to them.

Dienstag, 26. November 2013

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Argentina remains upset that some of its creditors are none too happy with the South American nation’s 2001 default on its debt obligations.

Volokh Conspiracy

Don’t Cry for Argentina (Again)<>

Saturday, November 23, 2013

By Jonathan Adler

Argentina remains upset that some of its creditors are none too happy with the South American nation’s 2001 default on its debt obligations.  As I noted here, some of Argentina’s creditors unhappy with the way in which Argentina sought to restructure its debt filed suit in the U.S. and prevailed, prompting Argentina to file multiple appeals and cert petitions.  In August,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Argentina’s challenge to a district court injunction  barring Argentina’s payment of restructured debt without also making payments to holders of unrestructured debt.  This past week, the Second Circuit denied Argentina’s petition to rehear hear the case en banc.  This is not too surprising. Not only is en banc review quite rare, but it would also be odd for a court to grant such review to a petitioner which has pledged it will refuse to comply with an adverse ruling.  A petition for certiorari will certainly follow.   Like Ed Whelan, I am not sure Argentina’s position will help it obtain Supreme Court review.

Economy sought to offer a signal of confidence to investors

La Nacion
Economy sought to offer a signal of confidence to investors
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
By Martin Kanenguiser
The stage of fine tuning has arrived, but at the hand of the least-thought of minister: it was not Amado Boudou nor Hernan Lorenzino, but Axel Kicillof, who yesterday helped seal the pre-agreement with Repsol for YPF to “offer a signal to investors” in particular from the energy sector.
Sources at the Palacio de Hacienda told LA NACION, without detailing the amount (on the market there is speculation of US$5 billion), that the payment to Repsol will be through bonds and stocks.  It would seem there will be no “cash” payment nor a participation by the Spanish company in Vaca Muerta.  Until Repsol and Pemex ratify their agreement, the government will not officially divulge the amount.  
The sources point out that the main objective of this pre-agreement, which has to be confirmed tomorrow by the shareholders of Repsol, is “to close the conflicts and lower the amount of litigation that YPF was facing.”
In this sense, the company “cannot be seeking funds and partners while Repsol threatens to put a new injunction every moment,” said the official source.
Also, it was indicated that Kicillof has been working on this issue “for a couple of months” with the Argentine ambassador to Spain, Carlos Bettini, with the supervision of Legal and Technical Secretary Carlos Zannini. In fact, they were the three officials that, together with YPF CEO Miguel Galluccio, participated yesterday in the meeting with officials and businessmen from Spain and Mexico in the headquarters of the nationalized company.
While the efforts started quite a bit before Kicillof’s ascension was decided – as he is the state’s representative on YPF’s board and is part of a strategic planning commission from the sector in the Planning Ministry – his designation “sped up the timing,” according to the view in Economy.  In fact, the statement from the Ministry on the matter said that “the present principle of the agreement contributes to normalizing and strengthening the historic ties between the three countries and their companies.”  
This way, Kicillof went from a harder line, in which he practically planned to have Repsol indemnify the Argentine state, to a more negotiating one, as could be seen also in other areas of economic policy.
In Economy, and among financial traders, they denied that Gramercy, the investment fund that was part of the solution of the suits by foreign companies in the ICSID and which is negotiating a solution with the holdouts, had participated in the agreement.  Another example, related intimately with the Repsol issue, is the authorization for oil companies that, with the price agreements expiring yesterday, they advance with new increases in fuel prices.
The other main points are the cuts in subsidies in public services – which resumes the “fine tuning” strategy of the period of Boudou as Economy Minister, halted after Cristina Kirchner’s re-election in 2011 – and the normalization of public statistics to avoid new IMF sanctions, among others.  Nor is it expected that there will be, in the short term, a new injection of funds to the population, after the rise in the minimum income tax rate, already eaten up by inflation.
Kicillof, who tomorrow will finish naming the assistant secretaries that will join his team (and then he will work on the national regulatory directors at Economy), will try to consolidate his power by cutting off AFIP chief Ricardo Echegaray, to tax collection and oversight, and Industry Minister Débora Giorgi. Equally, for their good ties to the President, neither is expected to be removed.  
El Cronista
Reserves run the risk of running out, says Bloomberg
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
If the recently named Economy Minister, Axel Kicillof, says that Argentina has to save dollars, the government is spending as much cash as it is lent to end up without reserves in foreign currency before the end of the current administration.  The international reserves fell at a rate of US$1 billion per month until they reached US$31.7 billion, the lowest rate in almost 7 years.  At that rate, the government will run out of its reserves at the end of 2015, when it will face bond payments abroad for US$13.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg that excludes dollar deposits by Argentines in the banks.  “We are seeing the consequences of thinking that we could use the reserves like a government piggy bank and that we could survive in total isolation from the world,” said Martin Redrado in a phone interview, the former BCRA president who now leads the Fundación Capital. Kicillof “probably will continue implementing the same policies that brought us to this situation, despire their clearly being unsustainable.”  Argentina’s reserves today cover 5.3 months of imports, the lowest proportion since 1981, compared to 18.9 months covered by Brazil’s.  

Some 150 million dollars has been escaping the Central Bank per day. That is a projected loss of US$3 billion per month.

La Nacion

A bad diagnosis, a bad treatment

Monday, November 24, 2013

By Carlos Pagnini

Some 150 million dollars has been escaping the Central Bank per day.  That is a projected loss of US$3 billion per month.  More than double the controversial investment by Chevron in Vaca Muerta.  With the clamp and everything.  It means the new men in charge of the economic policy, Jorge Capitanich, Axel Kicillof and Juan Carlos Fábrega, face a ferocious attack by the market upon the reserves.

The response from Capitanich and Kicillof to that process recognizes two difficulties: a currency exchange problem susceptible to being faced with taxation instruments, and a problem of “variation of prices” that will be solved with just disciplining those who maximize their profit at the expense of other parts of the value chain.

In the official discourse, those two phenomenon remain disconnected.  The absence of a connection is due to a difficulty in admitting the existence of the market. The economy doesn’t have “price variations.”  There is inflation.  And as the government denies it, pesos sink against the dollar.  Or moves towards things done with dollars: imported cars, international trips, goods bought abroad over the internet.

The refusal to interpret the crisis in light of the decisions by any number of actors is the decisive continuity among the practices of Guillermo Moreno and the explanations by  Capitanich and Kicillof.  The diagnosis determines the treatment.  From those who don’t admit a disturbance in the market, don’t expect market remedies.

Until now, Capitanich and Kicillof haven’t proposed them.  Neither in their statements to the press nor in their conversations with businessmen have they spoken of modifying the exchange rate or correcting interest rates.

Kicillof doesn’t only rule out those options.  For him they are the pseudo-scientific recipe from those who are custodians of the interests of the financial system: every bank is well regarded as a “vulture.”  This explains the replacement of Adrián Cosentino with economic theory historian Pablo López at Finance.

To neutralize the fall in reserves, Kicillof is analyzing a reconciliation with multilateral credit organizations.  Will it be sufficient?  An extremely successful negotiation with the World Bank will free up US$3 billion for the next three years.  It’s the sum that could be lost in one month.

Overall, Kicillof’s tactic will require a change in foreign policy: in the institutions that that they plan on reaching out to, the opinion of the United States is decisive. A challenge for Cecilia Nahón, ambassador in that country and member of the minister’s circle.  And a problem for Héctor Timerman: his terrible relations with Washington are intoxicating aspirants for his chair, like Carlos Bettini, the ambassador to Spain.  Maybe they are all forgetting that the real foreign minister is Cristina Kirchner, which explains Timerman’s survival.

The government’s communication apparatus spent the weekend canonizing Kicillof’s position, leaving Capitanich on the second rung.  Did the man from Chaco not produce an alternative vision because he has none or because he didn’t have time to formulate one?  In any case, the move is very risky: it turns Kicillof into a lit fuse.

It’s not a secondary question.  If Kirchnerism insists on dealing with the markets without market instruments, it will aggravate the inconsistencies.  The incorporation of Capitanich and the ascension of Kicillof excited expectations.  The PJ leadership and the world of business see the Cabinet Chief as a Peronist who is so flexible that he could serve Menem,  Duhalde and the Kirchners with the same fervor.

It is supposed that Kicillof is a defender of a split currency exchange rate system. Therefore, exporters are avoiding selling and importers are speeding up their purchases, waiting for the exchange rate that they were calculating, but that perhaps will not come. The supply of dollars is shrinking and demand is skyrocketing. Conclusion: Guillermo Moreno’s exit and the appointment of new officials intensified, for now, the pathologies that they wanted to remedy.

The coming weeks will be crucial for knowing if Cristina Kirchner’s reshuffle is a change of strategy or a change in phrasing. Perhaps she thinks her experiment just had difficulties in management.  That she had to replace Moreno, Lorenzino and Marco del Pont with more efficient executors. But the obstacle is different. The “model" has found its true limitation: ideology. It will be more expensive every day for the President to meet the demands of the market with policies that deny the market exists.

This is the reason why since last Wednesday the unknowns multiplied. The only certainty is that there is a reset imposed on the power circle. Capitanich’s entry and the promotion of Kicillof are signs of greater gravitation to Maximo Kirchner during his mother’s convalescence. It is true that Capitanich was added to reinforce an alliance with PJ: the governors lost votes for fault of the failures of economic policy. But the hand of the son of the President was seen in the expulsion of Abal Medina, who not even retained as Ambassador to Santiago: the Government of Chile didn’t receive the notice of its effect.

Abal Medina was condemned because in September he agreed with Franja Morado on the leadership of the Department of Political Science of the University of Buenos Aires, resulting in the defeat of the candidate from La Campora, Edgardo Mocca, panelist on “6,7,8” and professor at the School of Government that Capitanich founded in Chaco. It was not the only sin: the leaders of La Campora detected unpleasant complicities between Abal and Daniel Scioli. They were never too bothered by the Buenos Aires province efforts in favor of Mexico's Carlos Slim and the management of the advertising by the State. That key tool, sacred to people who see almost the only dimension of the policy in its communication, passed into the hands of Rodrigo Rodríguez, a subordinate of Andrés Larroque. And the last mistake: Abal put Matías Garfunkel onto the list of the Caselli family, hated by the Kirchners, for the leadership of River.

Abal’s exit leaves several figures homeless: the most important is Martín Sabbatella, the head of Afsca. Sabbatella is an unpleasant figure for the PJ.  The lists for his new party, Nuevo Encuentro, sapped votes from the mayors from the suburbs. An unsuspecting government supporter like Carlos Kunkel called him a "scavenger". Without Moreno, without Abal and with Sabbatella on the outs, the President must reassemble her battalion against the media.

Carlos Zannini was also weakened by the rise of Capitanich. "It is crazy; It believes that he can be President," said Maximo Kirchner in front of an intimate associated talking about Zannini. The egal and Technical Secretary has a single challenge until end of year: to resolve the status of the head of the Army, César Milani, who doesn’t take a step without reporting it to him. Will Milani go back to being exposed in the Senate by a promotion to lieutenant general?

It is another challenge for Capitanich. In addition to being coordinator of the Cabinet, government spokesman, supervisor of the economy and presidential candidate, will also be the link between the Justicialist Party and the Congress. This Leonardo da Vinci reincarnated will go tomorrow morning to the upper house to request its agreement on the President of the Central Bank and to expedite the adoption of the Civil Code.

The move in favor of Fabrega is significant: unlike its predecessor, Marco del Pont, he will have stability until 2019. The President wants to have influence on the BCRA in the next government.

The enactment of the Civil Code electrified the ruling party. The agreement with the Church produced a crisis in the caucus members. Julián Domínguez adjusted the new text in a discreet dialogue with Víctor Fernández, the rector of the UCA, and Carlos Malfa, one of the more astute members of the episcopate. The thread was cut where it was least expected: the leader of the block, Juliana Di Tullio. Julian and Juliana came into a compulsory conciliation managed by Kunkel.  The fissures delayed it being taken up by the House of Deputies, forcing Julio Alak to seek the vote of the PRO. The drafting of the new articles also left others wounded: Ricardo Lorenzetti will have to explain to the prestigious Aída Kemelmajer the pruning her secularized contributions to family rights suffered.

The rush to approve the code is understandable: since Antonio Brufau threatened Julio De Vido ("you will no longer be Minister, but Repsol will be going after your good for all the damage you’re doing to us"), the civil liability of officials has become a nightmare for the Cabinet. In the confiscation of YPF, the revocation of audiovisual licenses and the expropriation of airlines are the keys to the urgency. Nothing should surprise anyone:  the statist daydreams Moreno and Kicillof also need clear impunity.

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Argentinien will Ölkonzern Repsol für Enteignung entschädigen zurück

Argentinien will Ölkonzern Repsol für Enteignung entschädigen zurück

Argentinien will Ölkonzern Repsol für Enteignung entschädigen

Di, 26.11.13 11:40

Buenos Aires/Madrid (dpa) - Argentinien und Spanien haben ihren Streit um die Enteignung der größten Erdölfirma des südamerikanischen Landes YPF nach mehr als eineinhalb Jahren beigelegt.
Gemäß einem in Buenos Aires unterzeichneten Grundsatzabkommen wird Argentinien den spanischen Ölkonzern Repsol für die Teilverstaatlichung der Tochter YPF finanziell entschädigen, wie die Nachrichtenagentur Télam am Montagabend (Ortszeit) unter Berufung auf das argentinische Wirtschaftsministerium berichtete.
Repsol teilte in Madrid mit, die Vereinbarung - deren Inhalt im Detail offiziell vorerst nicht bekannt wurde - solle am Mittwoch dem Aufsichtsrat vorgelegt werden. Wie spanische Medien unter Berufung auf die Regierung in Madrid berichteten, soll eine Entschädigung von bis zu 5 Milliarden US-Dollar (ca. 3,7 Mrd Euro) gezahlt werden.
Das spanische Unternehmen hatte zuvor nach der Enteignung der Mehrheit von 51 Prozent der YPF-Aktien im April 2012 eine Entschädigung von 10,5 Milliarden Dollar gefordert. Nach dem Abkommen wollen sowohl Repsol als auch der argentinische Staat nun auf bereits eingeleitete gegenseitige Klagen verzichten.
An den Verhandlungen nahmen in Buenos Aires neben Vertretern von Repsol und YPF der argentinische Wirtschaftsminister Axel Kiciloff, der spanische Industrieminister Spaniens José Manuel Soria sowie Isidro Fainé, Präsident der spanischen Caixabank, des Hauptaktionärs von Repsol, teil. Repsol-Präsident Antonio Brufau, der einen harten Konfrontationskurs geführt hatte, nahm allerdings an den Gesprächen in Buenos Aires nach übereinstimmenden Medienberichten nicht teil, was Spekulationen über seinen möglichen Abgang auslöste.

Der Generaldirektor des mexikanischen Erdölkonzern Pemex, Emilio Lozoya, war indes dabei. Pemex besitzt einen Anteil von neun Prozent an Repsol und steht in Verhandlungen mit YPF zur gemeinsamen Ausbeutung des großen Schieferölvorkommens Vaca Muerta in der südargentinischen Provinz Neuquén. Lozoya bezeichnete das Abkommen als «historischen Meilenstein».

Freitag, 22. November 2013

Lead Articles: El Cronista: “Pushing a plan to take new debt and bring the reserves up to US$40 billion” Clarin: “Dollar: Capitanich and Kicillof analyze four options” El Cronista: “Argentine bankers went to the U.S. seeking dollars but came back with empty pockets”

l Cronista
Pushing a plan to take new debt and bring the reserves up to US$40 billion
The government seeks to finalize loans as soon as possible for the dams in Santa Cruz and 15 other projects.  Boudou and Kicillof want ANSeS to sell debt for US$5 billion
Friday, November 22, 2013
Debt reduction has ended.  The government is working to bring the reserves back up to US$40 billion through credits abroad and the funding of the ANSeS.  The intention is to strengthen the Central Bank (BCRA) to take apart the pressure on the dollar with Chinese financing at soft interest rates for infrastructure projects and with a sell off of bonds from the agency led by Diego Bossio, according to what El Cronista could reconstruct from official sources of different areas of the Executive and others from the private sector.
The plan is as ambitious as it is difficult and threatens to produce new internal battles on the economic team.  It is being pushed by Vice President Amado Boudou and Economy Minister Axel Kicillof.  Bossio is resisting.  And it comes at a time when the reserves fell to US$31.656 billion, after the BCRA sold US$180 million yesterday.
The Chinese leg is the most ambitious.  The outgoing Economy minister, Hernan Lorenzino, was working on the return to the markets at low rates and to finance projects.  The government or the company that carries out the project would take on debt, bring in dollars, exchange them for pesos and start building, while the reserves would grow.  The Chinese state banks are offering this chance for other companies from that country to make investments.
The emblematic case is the one of the Néstor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic dams in Santa Cruz, which will be built by the holding company made up of Electroingeniería, of Gerardo Ferreyra, and the Chinese firm Gezhouba. Two weeks ago, the Public Works secretary at the Planning Ministry, José López, and Finance Secretary Adrián Cosentino, with International Economic Relations Secretary and future Commerce Secretary Augusto Costa.  The financing contract will be written up in the coming days, with an interest rate of Libor plus 3.8%.  They will contribute US$3.7 billion in five years.  Lopez made a stopover in Russia.  The first disbursements will arrive at the start of next year.
They will not be the only ones.  Planning Minister Julio de Vido will travel in early December to China and Russia to do a “road show”.  He will show a “multi-year plan” of 15 projects for between US$15 billion and US$20 billion, his people said.  The projects have been dormant for years: the improvement of potable water in the Rio Deseado, in Santa Cruz, a communications tower in Avellaneda, hydroelectric projects like the Chihuido 2 dam in Neuquén and others in Mendoza and Jujuy, among others.
The other leg of the plan, the more urgent one, is the Fund of Guarantee of Solidarity (FGS) of the ANSeS.  Boudou and Kicillof want the pension agency to sell bonds abroad and bring the dollars to the country.  That hard currency would be added to the BCRA reserves.
The entity led by Bossio has bonds available for US$7 billion at the “contado con liquidacion” rate.  Economy believes that it could sell up to US$5 billion.  But for ANSeS, the operation would generate a drop in prices that would lead to a capturing of US$3.5 to US$4 billion.  The plan contemplates smoothing out this loss with the big investment funds as buyers, at a time when the country is reaching out to the markets at the hands of Gramercy and Fintech, among others.
In practice, the country will go back to taking debt.  It will stop refinancing bonds that the ANSeS will sell to the private sector and will have to pay the maturities.  But in ANSeS they are resisting.  While it did it in the past, they believe that it’s not the time to liquidate its assets and that it can’t happen from one day to the next.  
Dollar: Capitanich and Kicillof analyze four options
Friday, November 22, 2013
by Marcelo Bonelli
The government is studying making an adjustment on the economy to try to halt the drainage of hard currency and contain the fall in reserves.  Among his intimates, Axel Kicillof admitted his concern about the external front, and Jorge Capitanich knows the exchange rate delay from the suffering in the heartland.  Sources from the Casa Rosada confirmed that Capitanich, Juan Fábrega an Kicillof are working on a series of measures that include four alternatives to make a currency exchange adjustment: one alternative is a shortened split currency rate for tourism and luxury items.  
Another option under study is a fiscal devaluation in the style of the competitiveness plans of Domingo Cavallo.
The third would be to speed up the daily mini-devaluations.
The fourth possibility directly points to producing an initial currency exchange rate spike of 10 to 15%.
In addition, these measures are being studied:
Gradually raising interest rates.
Eliminating subsidies and raising rates on gas, electricity and transport for middle and upper classes.
Trying to normalize the INDEC.  Now Guillermo Moreno is naming his most unconditional followers as the “permanent staff”.
Moving forward on international actions to allow for a return to taking debt and therefore strengthen the reserves.
Reaching a secret agreement with the IMF to renew its audits of Argentina (they had been blocked by Nestor Kirchner).  
The formulas that will be used to put these possible measures into course are generating internal debate and have to overcome the President’s political filter and the panic that is generated by this reality that is increasingly distant from the Cristinista “narrative”.  To pretty-up the adjustment and to please Cristina, Kicillof is using new phrases and changes in the “narrative”: he speaks of “heterodox borrowing” and “discriminating service rates.”
He is doing it because Cristina already paralyzed his core idea of a split currency market.
Now she will have to endorse the manner and magnitude of the economic adjustment.
Capitanich let the bankers know that, from the Cabinet Chief’s office, he will push adjustments to get the economy back on track.  The “prime minister” admits that he’s going towards a presidential candidacy and knows that the sooner the adjustment is made the better he’ll be in 2015.
But the visuals already generated the first differences with Kicillof, which was reflected yesterday in an unusual competence or the media spotlight.
Kicillof felt strengthened and didn’t want to be obscured by the Capitanich-Fábrega duo. This week top line economists met and there Javier Alvaredo said sincerely: “Luckily, Coqui and Fábrega are bringing rationality to the government.” Fábrega is close to Capitanich. All of Marcó del Pont’s aides have already left and he named Juan Carlos Isi –a historian – as director general of the BCRA.  
Kicillof also wants to put directors in at the BCRA and dispute power and monetary decisions there.
But the minister has a one-eyed task: control inflation.  He placed an intimate in as Commerce Secretary.
Augusto Costa comes to that post with a terrible precedent: he had serious political stumbles in his time as a secretary at the Foreign Ministry.  Three weeks ago he was snubbed by the Brazilian Foreign Minister at a Mercosur discussion and in China he didn’t manage to get the financing for the hydroelectric dams in Santa Cruz.
Guillermo Moreno accused Kicillof of being a “traitor” and used profanity to attack him: “I am a Peronist.  He is a Marxist.  But what I didn’t know is that he’s a traitor son of a ....”  The attack follows both having made a political pact of survival.  For that agreement, Moreno would promote Kicillof and the economist would guarantee Moreno’s job.  Moreno met business leaders together with Kicillof, to demand that they subscribe to BAADE bonds.  In those meetings, he’d repeat: “Axel will be Economy Minister, after October.  He is here, with me, because he shares my request that you subscribe to the BAADE.”  The information circulated after three witnesses told of it in an ADEBA bankers’ meeting: Saúl Zang (Hipotecario), Ernesto Medina (Macro) and Luis Ribaya (Galicia).
For that, Moreno didn’t expect the end he faced and believed that Kicillof would defend him to Cristina.
His “accord” with Kicillof was the last straw in his “collection of failures”.  In truth, it was Capitanich who played a fundamental role in the final hours: he conditioned his taking the post with Moreno being thrown out of the government.
The President decided to do away with Moreno and Marcó del Pont, both responsible for the disastrous currency exchange rate policy and the currency clamp.  She also has Ricardo Echegaray under observation.
But Moreno’s exit has a secret plot twist: governors and mayors in the greater metropolitan area accused him for the electoral defeat and asked for his head after the primaries.  Daniel Scioli, José Gioja before his accident and Capitanich agreed that inflation took away votes and Moreno was to blame.  The mayors launched a similar offensive and the leader of La Matanza, Fernando Espinoza, was the one who took it to Cristina.  In mid-September, in the Olivos compound, the President surprised them: “Moreno won’t continue.  But I’m looking for the way and the timing for his exit.”  And added: “I don’t want to give Clarin a victory with that head on a platter.”   Guillermo Moreno did enormous damage to the Argentine economy.  But the governors and the mayors hold a key political fact: Moreno didn’t act along and always had the backing and consent of Cristina Kirchner.
El Cronista
Argentine bankers went to the U.S. seeking dollars but came back with empty pockets
The meeting of the Latin American federation of banks in Florida was the framework to seek credit to pre-finance exports and bring in fresh capital.  Credits remained closed off from uncertainty  
Friday, November 22, 2013
by JULIÁN GUARINO Buenos Aires
Argentine bankers traveled to the United States with an excuse and a purpose: the excuse, the meeting of the Latin American Bank Federation (Felaban), which this year was hosted at the International Bankers Association of Florida (FIBA), and which brought together 1,800 bankers from 54 countries. The purpose, to negotiate lines of bank credit to pre-finance exports with the biggest banks in United States, historically the country that generated the most funds for Argentine authorities. The United States bank sectors enjoys a good reputation in the financial sector: they point out that they represent a "more flexible" banking that could quickly activate almost US$ 1 billion in loans to local banks.
However, there was little result. According to what El Cronista could find out from several bankers, while there are expectations over the new economic measures, for now credit for local authorities remains mostly closed off, as uncertainty is translating into risk for U.S. bankers.   American bankers told local colleagues that the restrictions on moving dividends and the delicate situation of the reserves in the Central Bank mean "risks" that had to be evaluated and they remained "hopeful" over the new measures.
In recent years, since the imposition of restrictions on the purchase of dollars, dollars from financing ceased entering. According to the Broda firm, estimates based on official data have gone from a net income of US$3.426 billion in 2011 to a net pay-down of US$3.544 billion in 2012. In fact, during the first half of this year, US$ 2.052 billion was paid out abroad. It is that businessmen chose not to take more credits abroad and banks partially closed off their lending. Instead, businessmen chose a net pay-off of loans to cover an eventual devaluation.
One of the Argentine banks that is most interested in getting funds abroad is the Central Bank itself. In this way, it could build up its sagging reserves, since all loans in dollars are turned into pesos at the official exchange rate to gain entry into the country, and the business owner is given a line of credit in pesos. To encourage this behavior, in recent days the BCRA ordered an easing in the current regulations for all those exporters who are funded with lines of credit from abroad, either through pre-financing of exports or through advance payment of export. Through a statement, the Central Bank extended the limits and extended shipping deadlines for exporters to convincingly show to local authorities that exports were completed.   On the other hand, the Central Bank ordered local banks to honor a ceiling on their lending capacity for export firms, especially to grain producers. Thus, the big exporting firms that had gone for financing in pesos on the local market due to the strong devaluation of the peso began going in the opposite direction. They are now being forced to take on debt in dollars.
One should also remember that the controls over the entry of dollars for payment of tax obligations were relaxed, as well as those intended for capital assets.  Foreign capital was thereby exempt from the obligation to hold a non-remunerated deposit (capital reserve) of 30% of the amount involved in the operation, for one year.  One of the speculations of the City even points out that "in political terms it would be less expensive to try to increase the flow of capital for the capital account than it would be to put a clamp on tourism.”