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A Second Arab Spring?

Investors Shouldn’t Panic, Yet, After Argentina Elections

Mauricio Macri has lost the presidential elections in Argentina to Alberto Fernandez and VP running mate Cristina Kirchner, but there’s no need to panic - yet. What’s not clear is whether this is going to be Fernandez running the show or the devastatingly populist Kirchner. If it’s the former, there’s hope. If the latter, markets will be shattered. So far, the markets believe it’s Fernandez, who is now tasked with fixing an ailing economy with unemployment at 10.6%, inflation heading towards 55% and a suspended $57-billion line of credit with the IMF that needs to be renegotiated. In the oil patch, where Argentina’s wonderfully prolific Vaca Muerta shale is at stake, the single cause for concern so far is leftist pressure on Fernandez to freeze natural gas and power tariffs, and to peg oil product prices to pesos instead of dollars in order to curb inflation and boost economic growth. So far, both in the oil and gas and metal mining sectors, Fernandez has shown keen interest in securing additional foreign investment; however, his power here will depend on how much he has sold himself to the Kirchnerites along the way. So far, Kirchner has stayed in the shadows, but with Fernandez’s victory solidified, she could still emerge as an overpowering force. From the beginning, there has been talk of the possibility that she was using this to escape prosecution and would…




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