Fact Check: Argentina

958 days, 18 hours, 31 minutes ago

SINCE RUFO EXPIRED

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Marynberg, Kicillof and Uruguay

This week, we’ve been looking into Argentine financier and Kicillof crony Diego Marynberg.  Besides the connections that Argentine media have made between the two, Marynberg holds substantial financial interests in Uruguay that may also be linked to Kicillof.

In 2007, Marynberg founded a brokerage in Uruguay called Mercantil Valores Agente de Valores. Marynberg serves as the firm’s president, and his brother Sergio Gustavo Marynberg is the vice president.

We previously detailed Diego Marynberg’s significant financial interests in Venezuela, and how he has profited from transactions with the Central Bank of that country, much like he profited from transactions with the BCRA courtesy of Axel Kicillof and Team MECON.  But Marynberg’s Venezuelan and Argentine connections have their own money trail, leading right to Uruguay.

Mercantil Valores makes regular filings with the Central Bank of Uruguay, some of which offer insight into Marynberg’s holdings. One declaration from June 30, 2014 includes a list of all of Mercantil Valores’ bond trades that had been ordered but not yet carried out. There were 22 such trades, valued at just under US$57 million.  The trades consisted of five different bond issues, whose ISIN numbers and issuers are as follows:

– USP7807HAR68—PDVSA, Venezuelan national oil company

– XS0270992380—Province of Buenos Aires

– XS0460546442—PDVSA

– US9842451000—YPF, state oil company nationalized by the Kirchners

– USP6460MAJ38—Mastellone Hermanos, Argentine dairy product company

This and other filings by Mercantil Valores refer to a more detailed Annex VI, with a full list of the firm’s bond holdings. This annex was not included in the online version of the filing, though it may be publically available on site.  But even this limited sample suggests a collaborative relationship with both the Venezuelan and the Argentine governments.

President Cristina Kirchner has said repeatedly that “everything is connected to everything” when talking about imagined conspiracies against Argentina.  But in the case of Marynberg, she might be right.  It is notable that a financial player like Marynberg has such privileged connections to political insiders at the same time he speculates on hundreds of millions of dollars in public bonds.

It is probably just a coincidence, but it’s worth noting that Minister Axel Kicillof has a coastal vacation home and additional plots of land in El Ensueño, Uruguay. In 2013, the year he became Economy Minister, his declared personal wealth shot up 30% to more than a million pesos, including tens of thousands of dollars in savings accounts.   Kicillof has declared his Uruguayan assets to be worth only one-sixth what local Uruguayan real estate experts have said the market value would be.

Kicillof Vacation Home

 

Argentina’s former Central Bank president Juan Carlos Fábrega was sacked by Argentina’s government because he started asking questions about Marynberg and his preferential treatment from MECON.  We’re still asking questions, and we keeping asking them, until the truth comes to light.

In the meantime, it is worth keeping in mind the adage coined by President Kirchner: “everything is connected to everything.”