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Chinese oil groups eye stake in Spain's YPF

4th July 2009, Comments0 comments

Two giant Chinese oil companies are interested in buying a 30-percent stake in an affiliate of Spanish oil major Repsol

Madrid - Two giant Chinese oil companies are interested in buying a 30-percent stake in an affiliate of Spanish oil major Repsol, media reported Friday.

The China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) are ready to pay EUR 4 billion (USD 5.6 billion) for the stake in YPF, Repsol's Argentine affiliate, the ABC newspaper said, quoting sources close to Repsol.

It said that an offer is expected in the coming weeks.

CNPC is China's largest energy producer and CNOOC its biggest offshore oil and gas producer.

Repsol YPF announced Thursday it had received interest but no firm offers for a minority stake in YPF.

ABC said talks were continuing through the bank Goldman Sachs, which has been in touch with a number of Asian groups, of which CNPC and CNOOC appear the most interested.

Repsol bought YPF in 1999 for USD 15 billion in what was the biggest sale of the privatisation programme of then Argentine president Carlos Menem.

Last year, it sold a 14.9 percent stake to Argentina's Grupo Petersen in a deal which included a buy option for an additional 10 percent.

China's government-backed oil companies are jostling with each other to make landmark overseas acquisitions, seizing on the economic crisis -- and the accompanying low asset prices -- in a bid to feed the country's rapidly expanding economy.

AFP / Expatica

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