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Repsol exits Argentina after YPF seizure issue

MADRID--Spanish energy giant Repsol announced Friday it has exited Argentina, saying it pocketed US$6.3 billion in compensation and asset sales after Buenos Aires' 2012 seizure of its YPF unit.

The news marked the final chapter of a bitter row sparked in April 2012 when Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner ordered the nationalization of Repsol's 51 percent-owned YPF unit.

“Repsol has completed the disinvestment of its assets in Argentina,” Repsol said in a written statement.

Repsol said it had earned US$5 billion from the sale of Argentine government bonds, which had been paid by Buenos Aires in compensation over the seizure of YPF. The final batch of bonds sold to investors had a face value of US$117.4 million.

“The US$5 billion debt recognized by Argentina is now extinguished,” the group said.

In addition, Repsol said it had completed the sale of its remaining 12.34-percent stake in YPF for a total US$1.31 billion. Most of the stake had been sold to investors earlier this month.

“The income from these deals strengthens the company's financial standing, as has been recognized by international rating agencies,” Repsol said.

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