Friday, May 4, 2012

Argentina nationalizes oil company YPF

(Reuters) - Argentina's Congress nationalized the country's biggest oil company, YPF, by an overwhelming lower house vote on Thursday that underscored broad popular support for a measure that threatens to scare off foreign investment.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 207-32 in favor of expropriating YPF, clearing the way for President Cristina Fernandez to sign the bill into law. The Senate last week approved the measure by a similarly overwhelming margin.

Fernandez, who has tightened state control of the economy, unveiled the plan to seize a majority stake in YPF from Spain's Repsol six months after her landslide re-election.

The move drew a swift reprisal from Spain, which curtailed Argentine biodiesel shipments. Wall Street warns that Argentina risks scaring off investment needed to bolster growth against fallout from Europe's debt crisis and slower demand from key trade partner Brazil. Read More