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Petrobras Said to Hire Scotiabank to Sell Argentine Asset

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Latin America’s largest publicly-traded oil producer by revenue, hired Bank of Nova Scotia to sell assets in Argentina including a refinery, said a person with direct knowledge of the plans.

Scotiabank is mandated to sell a 31,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the city of Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires province, as well as two petrochemical plants and oil and gas fields and stakes, said the person, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are private. The assets all belong to Petrobras Argentina SA, a unit of the Rio de Janeiro-based producer.

Petrobras’s press office and Joe Konecny, a Scotiabank spokesman, both declined to comment in e-mailed responses to questions.

Petrobras is seeking to focus its non-Brazilian operations on the discovery and development of new reserves as part of a strategic plan presented last month by Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster. The company last year called off the sale of its Argentine unit after offers missed expectations, according to a statement at the time. In Argentina, Petrobras is looking to develop shale and tight oil and gas reserves.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net Stephen Cunningham

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