In the wake of Argentina’s decision to nationalize Spanish-controlled oil and gas company YPF SA (YPF, YPFD.BA), Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday that investors can rest assured that his government doesn’t nationalize private, foreign companies.
“Here [in Colombia] we’re not going to expropriate,” Santos said at a seminar in Bogota called “Invest in Colombia,” sponsored by Spanish newspaper El Pais. “We don’t do that.”
The Colombian leader’s comments came as Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares to visit the South American country Thursday, with plans to meet with Santos in the presidential palace.
“When investors come here, I tell them: Welcome, you are our partners and if you do well, we do well,” Santos said.
Rajoy will travel to Colombia from Mexico, where he met Wednesday with President Felipe Calderon. The Spanish leader expressed his annoyance at the decision by the Argentine government to take over YPF, which is controlled by Spanish oil company Repsol YPF SA (REPYY, REP.MC).
Rajoy said the expropriation is unjustified, and harms the understanding between Spain and Argentina, but that it wouldn’t affect Spanish relations with Latin America as a region.
Calderon was also critical of the planned nationalization, saying it violates investment agreements.