Repsol still "open" to talks with Argentina over YPF

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spain's Repsol (NYSE: REP) remains "open" to negotiate a fair deal for the seizure of its Argentine oil and gas assets last year, the company said in an investor webcast on Thursday.

Argentine President Cristina Fernández nationalized Repsol's subsidiary YPF in April 2012, claiming the company had failed to invest sufficiently in production.

Repsol described the action as "expropriation" and has taken its case to the World Bank's arbitration body in Washington.

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In conference call to discuss first quarter results, Repsol's chief financial officer Miguel Martínez said the Madrid-based firm was still seeking compensation for its losses.

"Repsol remains open to discuss with the Argentine government a fair settlement for the confiscation of YPF, respecting bona fide and legal principles," Martínez said.

"In the meantime Repsol has no other alternative but to pursue all available legal options."

Repsol, which had owned 57.4% of YPF's shares, says the assets were worth US$10.5bn, a value rejected by the Argentine government.

Fernández blames underinvestment by Repsol for Argentina's transition from a net fuel exporter to importer in 2010.