Goldman Sachs, PointState Cut YPF Stakes Before Argentina's Vote

  • Morgan Stanley and Owl Creek also reduced YPF holdings
  • Gramercy Funds, Discovery Capital added to YPF stakes

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and hedge fund PointState Capital LP reduced their stakes in Argentina’s state-controlled oil producer YPF SA before the nation’s presidential elections.

Morgan Stanley cut its position in the company held in various portfolios by $48 million in the third quarter to $23 million, while Goldman Sachs sold a $41 million stake to reduce its holdings to $88 million as of Sept. 30, according to regulatory filings. Zach Schreiber’s PointState, which began amassing a position in YPF in 2013, reduced its total holdings in YPF by about 70 percent to $12 million, and hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management lowered its stake by 81 percent.

YPF, which was expropriated by the Argentine government in 2012, become a widely-held security among hedge funds betting on an investment boom once a new president is sworn into office next month, which could pave the way toward a settlement with creditors from the country’s 2001 default. While investors reduced their positions in the oil company amid a slump in crude prices in the third quarter, YPF’s American depositary receipts have rallied 35 percent since then as the nation heads towards a runoff election between market-favorite Mauricio Macri and Daniel Scioli on Nov. 22.

Companies including Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management, Alan Howard’s Brevan Howard Asset Management, and Gramercy Funds Management increased their stakes in the third quarter. Still, Soros Funds Management lowered its holdings in the company for the second consecutive quarter, leaving billionaire George Soros’s position in the company at $154 million, the fourth-largest among minority shareholders.

The ADRs slipped 2.3 percent to $20.51 at 11:55 a.m. in New York.

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