Argentina approves $5b Repsol compensation

Argentina approves $5b Repsol compensation
The deal has been given the thumbs-up by Argentina's senate and now goes to President Cristina Kirchner for enactment. Photo: JUAN MABROMATA / AFP
Argentina's lower house of Congress approved a deal on Thursday to compensate Spanish oil giant Repsol with $5 billion (€3.6 billion)in bonds for the 2012 seizure of its subsidiary YPF.

After 16 hours of debate that ran past midnight, lawmakers green-lighted the move with 135 votes in favour, 59 against and 42 abstentions.

The Senate cleared the agreement on March 27. It now goes to the desk of President Cristina Kirchner for enactment.

The deal seeks to repair the financial hit taken by Repsol when Kirchner ordered the nationalization of Repsol's 51-per cent stake in YPF in April 2012.

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The expropriation soured relations between Buenos Aires and Madrid and sparked international outrage, including from Spain's European Union partners.

Kirchner blamed it on Repsol's failure to make agreed investments in the firm. Spain, however, saw it as a blow to its strategic interests.

"It is invaluable to have concluded the settlement amicably," said the chairman of the Energy and Fuels Committee, Mario Metaza.

Repsol has said it and its shareholders have agreed to accept the compensation.

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