YPF Advances in Argentina on Repsol Joint-Venture Report

YPF SA, the oil company Argentina seized last year, was the most active stock by value in Buenos Aires after Ambito Financiero said the government reached a deal to end disputes with former controlling shareholder, Repsol SA.

YPF rose 1 percent to 112.1 pesos at the close of trading. Volume was more than double the three-month average with 20.2 million pesos ($4 million) changing hands. The benchmark Merval index advanced 1.3 percent.

Argentina and Caixabank, Repsol’s biggest shareholder, have agreed to create a joint venture to produce shale gas in the Neuquen and Mendoza provinces, Ambito Financiero reported today, without saying where it got the information. Repsol also will drop all claims related to the April 2012 nationalization of YPF, according to the Buenos Aires-based newspaper.

“It’s the first time in almost a year that we see light at the end of the tunnel,” Carlos Aszpis, an equity strategist at Schweber & Cia. Sociedad de Bolsa SA, said in a phone interview. “There could be an agreement that is beneficial to all parties.”

Neither Repsol nor its board of directors are studying a deal with Argentina, spokesman Kristian Rix said today by phone. YPF spokesman Alejandro Di Lazzaro declined to comment on the report. Caixabank spokeswoman Maria Luisa Martinez also declined to comment.

Repsol filed an arbitration claim against Argentina to the Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in December. It also filed a lawsuit in Madrid to keep YPF from offering the Vaca Muerta shale formation in Argentina to other potential developers.

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