Following the election of Javier Milei as president, shares of YPF, the state-owned oil company in Argentina, surged by 41.3% on Wall Street. However, privatizing the company does not seem to be a simple process for the new ruling party.
Milei has promised to revalue the 51% of YPF that is currently in the hands of the National State and producing provinces before privatizing it. However, experts note that this is an important operation and that it will require repealing a law that was put into place in 2012 when Repsol controlled YPF. This means that Milei must obtain authorization from Congress to transfer shares to the private sector, which could be done through a DNU (Decree of Necessity and Urgency) but would still require approval from Parliament.
Additionally, Milei must decide whether he will sell the entire package to a single buyer or sell shares on the stock market. According to stock market analyst Sebastián Marill, anyone who has more than 15% of YPF’s shares must make an offer for the entire company and agree with 49% of private shareholders under Argentine law. This adds another layer of complexity to Milei’s plans for privatization.
Despite these challenges, Milei has expressed his determination to move forward with privatizing YPF. He believes that this is necessary for Argentina’s economic growth and development. While there are many obstacles ahead for Milei and his team, they remain committed to making this happen despite potential legal risks associated with privatization efforts.