Mexico Pemex CEO criticizes Repsol chairman's earnings

Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:18pm EST
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The chief executive of Mexico's state-run oil monopoly Pemex PEMX.UL on Wednesday criticized the compensation paid to the chairman of Spain's Repsol (REP.MC: Quote) as excessive, amid a dispute between the two that originated from Argentina.

CEO Emilio Lozoya also told Mexico's Congress that Pemex was not looking to tie up with tycoon Carlos Slim in a bid to oust Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau.

Spain's ABC newspaper reported on Tuesday that Pemex wanted billionaire Slim to buy a stake in Spain's Repsol to gain more say on Repsol's board. Spokesmen for Slim and Pemex have denied it.

Pemex has a 9.4 percent stake in Repsol, and has no plans to buy a larger stake, a Pemex spokesman said on Tuesday. It has in the past threatened to sell out of Repsol due to differences with Brufau.

"Our criticism has been about the compensation .. of the administration," Lozoya told a Congressional hearing. "$8 million a year for the chairman given results that are significantly below those of the rest of its competitors."

"This relationship between shareholder return and compensation for the administration is completely outside international norms," he added. Lozoya said Pemex's return on its stake in Repsol had been "zero" since it bought in.

He said that the average return for European oil companies had been 87 percent, for international oil majors 69 percent, and Repsol's performance could not be blamed on the YPF expropriation.

Brufau was paid more than 7 million euros ($9.42 million) in 2012, making him one of Spain's highest-paid executives, including retirement payments of 2.7 million euros which he has said he will renounce in the future.

Repsol's shares have risen 12.8 percent since Brufau became boss in 2004, versus a 19 percent rise for Royal Dutch Shell, a 9.4 percent rise for France's Total, a 8.9 percent decline for BP and a 44 percent fall for Italy's ENI over the same period.   Continued...

Antonio Brufau, chairman of Spanish oil company Repsol, speaks during a ceremony to present company's strategic plan in Madrid May 29, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Perez