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Argentine congressman Javier Milei, presidential candidate of La Libertad Avanza, who is leading all polls ahead of Argentina’s October 22 elections. (Photo: Argentine Congress)
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Argentina Business Split Over Milei

Colombia energy investments, Netflix losing share in Mexico and more.

Argentina’s business class is split over presidential candidate Javier Milei, who is leading all polls ahead of the October 22 elections.

One of the country’s top businesspeople, Eduardo Eurnekián, has strongly endorsed Milei, who once worked for him as chief economist. However, he doesn’t support Milei’s plans to dollarize.

“I think Milei would be a very good president,” he told the Financial Times. “But I don’t want the dollar.”

Eurnekian is the founder and owner of Corporación América, a diversified conglomerate mainly involved in airport operations in Latin America and Europe.

“Milei is fundamentally an economist, a technocrat,” he said. “He is the one I trust to be most pro-market.”

Several of Eurnekian’s former employees are part of Milei’s top team, including his rumored picks for interior minister and cabinet chief, according to the Financial Times.

However, many businesspeople also deeply distrust Milei, according to Agustino Fontevecchia of newspaper Perfil.

“What the members of the ‘círculo rojo’ [a popular name for Argentina’s business elite] are all thinking, but are not willing to say publicly, is that they believe a Milei administration would be marked by a level of institutional instability so great that it would quickly lead to a situation of social unrest,” he wrote in a recent analysis.

Over the last several weeks, Argentina’s “suits” have been forced to reckon with a situation of increased uncertainty amidst their incredulity at Juntos por el Cambio’s electoral performance, especially Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, their favorite, Fontevecchia says.

“For many of them even the pan-Peronist coalition candidate, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, represented a sort of “rational” continuity with which they could cope with,” he says. “Instead, they got the “Black Swan” scenario of Javier Milei, the ultra-libertarian economist who promises to burn the Central Bank.”

One of Milei’s promises is close the central bank and replace the beleaguered peso with the US dollar.

The dollarization proposal is supported by some, while others say it is unrealistic.

Mark Rosen, the US representative at the International Monetary Fund’s executive board from 2019 to 2021, supports Argentina dropping the peso in favor of the dollar to help thwart one of the world’s fastest inflation rates.

“Dollarization would be very positive for Argentina,” he told Bloomberg. “It would basically eliminate most of the risk of future inflation, which is a huge issue. It wouldn’t necessarily deal with the spending issue, but it would anchor monetary policy, and be a big positive change.”

Milei’s proposal to dollarize the economy would be positive for long-term lending in the country where mortgages are largely inaccessible, according to Pierpaolo Barbieri, chief executive officer of fintech company Ualá.

“The opportunity for lending in places like Argentina is huge because only seven percent to eight percent of people have access to formal credit today […] and in a dollarized economy I think that number would go up a lot,” he told Bloomberg.

Others are more skeptical.

“Buying up the pesos currently in circulation would cost roughly $40 billion which Argentina does not have,” argues Andrés Velasco, a former finance minister of Chile, in a recent article. “Some pro-Milei economists argue that the dollars could be borrowed abroad. But what happens if the loan is called in early, as it could well be? The money supply vanishes overnight and Argentina ends up in its own Great Depression.”

Apart from dollarization, Milei can count on wider support for privatization of state entities like oil company YPF and money-losing airline Aerolineas Argentina.

In the end, observers like Velasco believe Milei may be successful less for his business proposals than his anti-establishment rhetoric.

“He is a classic authoritarian populist who happens to be right wing just because the ruling party is left wing,” he says. “Luckily for Milei, this election is not about the soundness of policy proposals, but about who is more indignant, who is a better attention-seeker, and who can vow to get rid of the ruling elite with a bigger kick in the ass. In all three domains, Milei runs circles around his opponents. That is what makes him the frontrunner.”


Adverse regulatory actions taken by the Colombian government since late 2022 have weakened investor confidence in the sector, discouraging investments in new electricity generation capacity required to meet future demand growth, Fitch Ratings says.

The actions include the application of “tariff options” to curb inflationary pressures on tariffs for end users, plans for the government to assume regulatory duties and the recent suspension of long-term contracts signed during renewable energy auctions in 2019 and 2021.

Distribution companies face difficulties from the application of the “tariff option”, which is a temporary regulatory mechanism prompted by the government to limit tariff increases to Colombia’s CPI. These prevent distribution companies from passing through increased energy costs and inflationary pressures to end users.


After nearly a decade of dominating streaming in Mexico, Netflix is now losing significant share to Amazon, Disney+ and other rivals. The last two years alone it has seen its share fall from 63.5 to 24 percent, according to data from Consultora BB Media quoted by local newspaper El Financiero.

Amazon Prime has grown 137 percent the past two years to 18 percent market share, followed by Disney+ with 15 percent market share.

The loss of Netflix market share is due to a combination of ever-growing prices and the entry of new rivals.


Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s campaign to weaken Mexico City’s main airport is succeeding.

The airport has fallen from 15th to 18th place among megahubs worldwide, according to El Financiero.

Under Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, the main airport (AICM) has been systematically weakened, with everything from caps on flights to forcing cargo traffic to AMLO´s pet project, AIFA airport.

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