Congress passes YPF deal
After a 16-hour debate, Lower House passed the law to pay Spanish Repsol 5 billion dollars in bonds to compensate for the 2012 nationalization of Argentina's energy company YPF.
Ruling Victory Front and its allies gave full legislative approval to the bill, passed with 135 votes in favor, 59 against and 42 abstentions around 4 a.m today.
The deal, sealed last February and previously approved by the Senate and Repsol’s Administrative Council its expected to be swiftly ratified by the president.
The terms of the settlement include the payment of 5 billion dollars issued in dollar-denominated bonds with interest rates of up 8.75%. The bonds are set to mature from 2017 to 2033.
Congress’ approval was one of the conditions required by Repsol to remove its lawsuits against Argentina in international courts.
Government officials pointed out that the compensation was fair and that this deal will help YPF lure investors. They also emphasized the benefits of paying for YPF shares in debt rather than cash on the grounds that it will place less stress on the country's reserves.
Opposition lawmakers, on the contrary, criticized the amount and details of the compensation as well as the government’s energy policies.
YPF is run by the federal government since Argentina seized 51% of YPF shares from Repsol in May 2012