Druckenmiller Joins Soros in Cutting Stakes in Argentina’s YPF

Billionaire Stan Druckenmiller and Mason Capital Management sold their holdings of Argentina’s state-controlled oil producer YPF SA, while George Soros cut part of his stake.

The family office for Druckenmiller, the former chief strategist for Soros, sold its $19 million position in the company in the second quarter. Soros Fund Management reduced its stake by 5.6 percent to about $302 million as of June 30. Mason, which had been YPF’s second-largest minority shareholder, sold its $431 million stake.

While YPF has become a widely held security among hedge funds betting on an investment boom once Argentina settles with creditors from its 2001 default, firms including Dan Loeb’s Third Point and Richard Perry’s Perry Corp. have cut their stakes amid a global rout in oil prices over the past year. Crude has slumped 56 percent in the past 12 months.

PointState Capital, which became bullish on oil after making $1 billion last year betting crude prices would fall, bought shares in the second quarter. The hedge fund increased its position by 40 percent to about $75.7 million as of June 30, filings show. PointState co-founder Zach Schreiber said in April that oil prices “are going to go higher.”

OakTree Capital Group LLC, the world’s biggest distressed investor, purchased a $12.8 million stake -- its first position in the company in at least 18 years. Point72 Asset Management, which manages Steven A. Cohen’s personal fortune, also built its first position in the oil producer with a $6.8 million stake. Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management grew its stake by 1.2 percent to about $124 million.

YPF’s American depository receipts have slumped 8.9 percent this year. Despite the rout in oil, the company, which was nationalized by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in 2012, has benefited from selling crude at government-set prices that are higher than the international benchmark.

The company is seeking partners to exploit the Vaca Muerta formation, an area the size of Belgium that holds the world’s second-largest shale gas reserves and the fourth-most shale oil.

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