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Repsol Falls on Argentina's YPF Stance: Mover

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Repsol YPF SA fell the most in almost three weeks after Pagina/12 newspaper said Argentinian officials discussed a takeover of YPF SA, the country’s biggest oil producer, in which Repsol holds a majority stake.

Repsol declined as much as 80 cents, or 3.7 percent, to 20.71 euros, the biggest intraday drop since Jan. 11, and was trading down 0.8 percent at 2:10 p.m. in Madrid. The stock has fallen 11 percent this year. YPF’s American depositary receipts fell 10 percent to $35.86 yesterday, the steepest one-day decline since Aug. 8.

Argentinian government officials, lawmakers and oil industry specialists discussed re-nationalizing YPF, which was bought by Repsol in 1999, Pagina/12 reported Jan. 29. YPF isn’t aware of any developments that could explain unusual share movements, it said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. Kristian Rix, a spokesman for Repsol in Madrid, declined to comment.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is pushing Buenos Aires-based YPF and other oil companies to boost investments in Argentina after saying they are to blame for a doubling of fuel imports to $9.4 billion in 2011.

Fernandez’s government also is probing alleged fuel-price fixing by YPF, Petrobras Argentina SA and other producers following a complaint from the country’s transport association. YPF denied on Jan. 18 that it had colluded with other companies to fix gasoline prices. Late last year Fernandez ordered oil companies to repatriate future export revenue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Smyth in Madrid at ssmyth2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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