Spain Sees Room for a Deal Between Repsol, Argentina on YPF

The Spanish government sees space to negotiate terms for Repsol SA’s departure from Argentina, Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo said. YPF SA stock soared.

“There is room for a negotiation,” Margallo said yesterday in statements before Spain’s Senate, according to Germany’s DPA news agency. “It must be done through a regulated procedure and paying a fair price.”

The Madrid-based oil producer is still waiting to file a claim seeking $10.5 billion in compensation at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, said Kristian Rix, a Repsol spokesman in a phone interview from Madrid. ICSID is the principal arbitration court for claims against sovereign countries. Repsol wants compensation after the Argentine government expropriated a 51 percent stake of its YPF unit on April 16.

The company’s chief executive officer, Antonio Brufau, said his company has “the responsibility to pursue in any court the fair compensation that our shareholders demand.”

“I’m not aware of any room for negotiation at this moment,” Brufau said yesterday in an interview in Queretaro, Mexico. “We’re always willing to negotiate.”

YPF American depositary receipts surged as much as 11 percent after the Minister’s comments were reported to $11.50 in New York and closed up 1.1 percent.

Argentine Deputy Economy Ministry Axel Kicillof, who is in charge of energy policy, wasn’t immediately available to take calls Jessica Rey, his spokeswoman, said by phone from Buenos Aires.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Fernandez said the same day that compensation will be determined by Argentina’s National Appraisal Tribunal, the government-chartered agency to help determine the value of contested goods involving companies or governments.

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