Investors Cheer On Repsol Gas Sale Speculation

Repsol YPF shares rose by 6.8 percent yesterday, the biggest gain in more than two years, the rise followed speculation that Europe's fifth largest oil producer may make capital gains by selling as much as twenty percent of Gas Natural SDG, Spain's largest natural gas distributor. Investors are speculating that Repsol may be selling shares in Europe's fourth biggest gas company to help pay back two and a half billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of debt that will mature next month. Repsol may sell a fifth of Gas Natural, reducing its stake to twenty seven percent from the present forty seven percent, Efe newswire reported, citing people close to the sale. A 20 percent stake was worth about 1.88 billion euros at the closing price yesterday. “That would be huge,” said Ricardo Gil, who helps manage 500 million euros ($453 million) at Renta 4 in Madrid. “They'd need to sell it at a discount to the market price.”

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