Singapore, China giants mull Spain gas investment: report

7th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

Singapore state investment giant Temasek and Chinese oil group Sinopec aim to snap up a multi-billion-euro stake in Spain's Gas Natural, the Financial Times said Monday.

The two groups had contacted Spanish oil firm Repsol separately to say they were interested in buying its 4.7-billion-euro ($6.4 billion) stake in Gas Natural, the paper said, citing people close to the process.

Spanish company Repsol has a 30-percent stake in Gas Natural and wants to sell most of the investment so as to leave itself with a five percent share in the gas firm.

Repsol has been selling assets to replace income lost after the nationalisation of its Argentinian subsidiary YPF by Cristina Kirchner's government in April 2012.

In February, Repsol announced it was selling a part of its liquefied natural gas business to Dutch-anglo group Royal Dutch Shell for $6.65 billion.

Repsol and its largest investor, CaixaBank, as well as the Spanish government all approved of Temasek and Sinopec as potential investors, the Financial Times said.

A spokesman for Repsol declined to confirm or deny the report.

He noted, however, that the group had commented on the Gas Natural investment in late July.

Repsol financial director Miguel Martinez said at the time that part of the reason for holding a stake in Gas Natural was that it could profit the group's liquefied natural gas (LNG) business.

But that reason had "disappeared" with the sale of the LNG stake in February, he added.

The group was not in a rush to sell its share in Gas Natural and it preferred to do so in agreement with La Caixa (CaixaBank) and Gas Natural, he said.

Repsol's 2012-2016 strategic plan proposes 19 billion euros in international investments, of which 80 percent is destined for exploration and production.

The strategy includes investing two billion euros in Brazil, 2.3 billion euros in the United States, 1.2 billion euros in Venezuela, 400 million euros in Russia and 20 million euros in Spain.

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© 2013 AFP

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