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Mason Buys, BNP Sells YPF During the Third Quarter

Mason Capital Management LLC was the biggest buyer of YPF SA shares in the third quarter while BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA and Eton Park Capital Management were the biggest sellers, according to preliminary data compiled by Bloomberg.

Mason more than doubled its previous stake to become the the third-largest institutional investor in Argentina’s biggest energy company. It bought 6.9 million shares and has a 3.15 percent stake.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s Grupo Financiero Inbursa remains YPF’s largest institutional shareholder with a stake of 6.59 percent, followed by Lazard Asset Management LLC with 4.69 percent, the data show. Slim’s financial arm hasn’t yet reported third-quarter transactions.

YPF’s stock has plunged 71 percent this year, making it the worst performer among peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. YPF’s market value today is $3.9 billion, the lowest since the company’s stock went public in 1993.

Mason Chief Financial Officer John Grizzetti, also a spokesman for the hedge fund, did not reply to a call and an e-mail seeking comments. Grizzetti filed the information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

The Argentine government seized a 51 percent stake in Buenos Aires-based YPF from Repsol SA in April.

Highfields Capital Management LP was the second-biggest buyer in the quarter to become the fifth-largest institutional investor in the company. It owns a 1.87 percent stake in YPF.

Eton Park Capital Management is the fourth-largest institutional investor with 1.95 percent. Eton sold 2.3 million shares in the period. BNP slid to seventh-largest institutional investor after it sold 5.4 million shares.

BNP didn’t respond to two calls seeking comment.

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