Argentina: Back to unpredictable

A Supreme Court ruling in Argentina yesterday thrust that country back into unpredictable territory.

Ratifying a lower court decision, the justices ordered the government to repeal increases in natural gas rates for residential customers until it holds public hearings. The court said wellhead gas prices set by the government require hearings as well. The landmark ruling suggests electricity rate hikes will be subject to the same criteria.

President Mauricio Macri swept into office last December pledging to dismantle huge subsidies that blew out the fiscal deficit under his predecessor and nemesis Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Now he and his self-described technocrats are back to square one.  Continue reading

Brazil, bon appetit!

The oil industry has all but handed Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer, a recipe for rekindling investor enthusiasm after his predecessor Dilma Rousseff was forced to step down yesterday. Ease local content rules, nix the sub-salt operating mandate of state-controlled Petrobras, level the playing field for transshipment, improve the framework for upstream unitisation. Tick the boxes, Mr Temer, and a sub-salt bidding round next year should restore Brazil’s prestige as an oil province, the industry says.

Continue reading