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YPF Dividends Cut as Argentina Seeks Oil Output Boost

YPF SA decreased dividend payments and raised investment as the company seized by Argentina’s government in April seeks to bolster oil production.

The South American country’s biggest oil producer allocated dividend payments of $66 million, or 5.7 percent of last year’s profit, according to a regulatory filing distributed after a shareholder meeting yesterday.

Argentina seized 51 percent of YPF from Spain’s Repsol SA as President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government seeks to halt declining oil output and stem fuel imports that doubled to $9.4 billion last year. The government opposed YPF dividends that exceeded 80 percent of profits.

Shareholders also expressed their opposition to “the previous administration characterized by falling oil and gas reserves, production and exploration,” the company said in the statement.

Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio allocated $1.3 billion of earnings toward total planned investment in 2012 of $3.5 billion. Investment last year was $3.1 billion, according to a filing sent to the stock exchange in February.

YPF shares, unchanged at 85 pesos yesterday, have tumbled 49 percent in Buenos Aires trading this year.

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