ARGENTINA Large companies are worth $ 8800 million less after the case of bribes

From the point of view of the private sector, the problems arising from the scandal of the notebooks are not limited to the arrest of some officials and barons of public works. Neither the threat that more business people lose their freedom or are part of the judicial investigation by Judge Claudio Bonadio.

It happens that the unveiling of the mechanism to collect illegal money by the Kirchner was one of the factors that penalized the value of the large Argentine listed companies, so the controllers of the companies and small investors who bet on them also lost money.

Since July 31, a day before the scandal of bribery broke, until last Friday at 12 o'clock, 22 Merval companies lost US $ 8857 million in capitalization. That is a loss of 18% compared to the day before the disclosures published by LA NACION.

The previous account does not include the petroleum company Petrobras or steel company Tenaris because according to specialists in financial matters they are less affected than others by the & Argentine risk & # 39; and have a significant part of their activities outside the country. This even reaches the last of the companies, which is part of the Techint group, whose executives have testified in court in the context of the investigation and have acknowledged that they have given money to Kirchner officials.

In the top 5 of the losing stock of the last few days are Banco Macro (31.9%), Grupo Financiero Supervielle (30.1%), Transportadora de Gas del Norte (27%), Metrogas (26.4%). )) and Pampa Energía (25.5 percent).

The list of victims of the last time is led by Macro, which lost almost $ 1500 in market capitalization in just over two weeks. The entity set up by Jorge Brito is mentioned in the investigation of the Ciccone printing company, in addition to the suffering of the vicissitudes of a financial institution in Argentina, which also reduces the actions of Supervielle to red.

The management of the institutional relations of Banco Macro told LA NACION that the loss of value in the shares of the entity is due more to general reasons – to the national or international political or economic situation & # 39; – then on specific issues.

Into trouble

Gas companies, although not yet directly at the heart of the controversy, are part of a sector that is currently under investigation. Metrogas and Transportadora de Gas del Norte (responsible for the transport of gas in the central and northern parts of the country) have recorded losses of more than 20% since the last day of July.

The construction of gas pipelines has been under suspicion in Argentina for many years. The inaugural saga of these doubts began with the Skanska case, in the middle of the last decade, and was renewed in the last days with the arrest of businessman Carlos Mundín, president of BTU, a company that grew through the hand of that kind projects.

The scandal affects economic activity from different places. For example, the parent companies of Wall Street banks are now afraid to approve loans for companies in Argentina that could be targeted in future investigations on corruption. And an even greater withdrawal of economic activity is expected as a result of the difficulties in awarding public works in the future (see page 17).

At local level, says the analyst Christian Buteler, the stock market had a strong impact in the first 48 hours after the arrests for the notebooks, but "if the macro conditions of the country had been good, they would not have risen the risk country and falling tires, "he says.

"What started with the notebooks followed other economic events that affected the market, such as the crisis in emerging markets," he summarizes. The reaction was initially "natural", says Buteler. "Firstly, there is an aversion to risk, so it touches in a general way, and then the movement deepens itself in the most involved roles, such as those of construction, suppliers of public works and banks," he adds. toe.

"The country will suffer economically for one or two quarters, because there is also an irrational sale of assets and a worldwide punishment for everything that the name" Argentina "bears," explains Sebastian Maril, an analyst at Research For Traders. . There is also the fear of the future, he emphasizes, because it is not known what they will testify and which other entrepreneurs will involve the convert.

Maril suggests that local companies in international courts can be quickly prosecuted for the effect of the notebooks as business managers are called or sprinkled in one way or another.

A few months (or years) after the noise, says Buteler to end, it is likely that these debugging and low positive effects have: "When everything disappears, it is better for an investor to move in a market where corruption is punished than in one turbid where everything has been negotiated with bribes, the stock market must, in short, become stronger, "he concludes.

Generalized impact

  • The most affected: Banks, such as the Macro and the Supervielle, are the most affected by the decline in market capitalization that has taken place in recent weeks.
  • Privatized, in sight: The economic impact was also strongly felt in public utilities such as Transportadora de Gas del Norte, Metrogas and Pampa Energía.
  • uncertainty: Analysts warn that it is still unknown how research will continue to influence local businesses

/ psg

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