Argentina's YPF Says It Will Repay $125M Repsol Loan

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's largest oil company, YPF SA, said Friday that it will repay a $125 million loan from former controlling shareholder Repsol.

In a filing with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, state-run YPF said a Repsol subsidiary has requested the payment of the principal and accrued interest of the loan that matures November 2013.

"As a consequence of such a request, YPF shall make payment immediately of the loan in whole, ... even though the lender has not complied with the formalities required for notices given under the agreement," YPF said.

YPF's American depositary shares rose 0.7% in New York to close at $11.76 Thursday, a far cry from their 52-week high of $46.60.

In May, Argentina President Cristina Kirchner formally seized a 51% stake in YPF from Spain's Repsol in a dispute over investment and production.

Ms. Kirchner has axed YPF's dividend and pledged to reinvest all profits back into the company to reverse years of declining production that she says have turned Argentina into a net energy importer.

Repsol has called the expropriation illegal and is fighting it in the courts. The Spanish oil company still has a representative on YPF's board of directors.

YPF's other major investors include companies owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, which hold an 8.4% stake, and Brazilian banking company Itau Unibanco Holding S/A with 3.6%.

Earlier this month, YPF's new chief executive, Miguel Galuccio, disclosed a five-year, $35 billion investment plan aimed at increasing oil and gas output. But analysts have said it remains unclear where that money will come from.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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