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Capital Markets

British Gas hides GASA stake from preying Ashmore eyes

Publication: SABI - Business News

With the threat of the Ashmore investment fund hovering over the Gas Argentino (GASA) shareholdings, British Gas has copied its partner YPF's recent accountancy trick aimed at safeguarding investments by transfering its stake in the controller of MetroGas to a new subsidiary, hastily named BG Inversiones Argentinas. GASA is the owner of 70% of MetroGas and British Gas owns 54.67% of GASA capital. Repsol-YPF transferred its 45.33% stake in GASA in late October 2005 to a new filial called YPF Inversora. GASA has a debt-default of US$100mil and is almost certain to have to offer shares to funds and the like to clear it. Distress fund Ashmore possesses 60% of the debt. GASA controls MetroGas, the major gas distributor in Argentina with 1.9 million clients.

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