Argentina's YPF says to issue up to $1 bln in global bonds

BUENOS AIRES, March 27 Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:59pm EDT

BUENOS AIRES, March 27 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled oil company YPF told local market regulators on Thursday that it plans to launch the sale of up to $1 billion in 10-year global bonds on April 4.

The deal comes as Argentina tries to attract investment to its vast Patagonian shale oil and gas formation called Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow. In a letter to the National Securities Commission, YPF said the bond issue will be managed locally by Banco Itau Argentina y HSBC Bank Argentina.

The letter was published just hours after the Senate approved the government's proposal to pay Repsol $5 billion in bonds to compensate the Spanish oil major for the nationalization of its majority stake in YPF two years ago.

YPF has been under Argentine government control since President Cristina Fernandez ordered 51 percent of the company be nationalized in 2012. Compensating Repsol will be a key step toward attracting much-needed private investment.

A U.S. Department of Energy report has shown that Argentina has more natural gas trapped in shale rock than all of Europe, a 774-trillion-cubic-feet bounty that could transform the outlook for Western Hemisphere supply. The country's shale gas reserves trail only China and the United States. (Reporting by Guido Nejamkis, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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