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Soros dobles investment in YPF after Mendoza shale discovery

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- George Soros’ $28 billion family office more than doubled its stake in YPF SA, making the state-controlled oil producer its biggest U.S.-traded stock holding two years after Argentina seized control of the company.

Soros Fund Management LLC added 8.47 million shares of YPF in the second quarter, according to a filing yesterday, bringing its position to 3.5% of the American depositary receipts. That was worth $450 million at the end of June, making Soros the fourth-biggest holder.

YPF, control of which was seized by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in 2012, is steering its efforts into some of the world’s largest shale deposits in the Vaca Muerta formation along with Chevron Corp. to reverse a widening energy deficit. The Buenos Aires-based company said yesterday that it made a shale discovery in Mendoza province, its third unconventional find in the country.

Argentina defaulted for a second time since 2001 on July 30 after a U.S. court blocked its $539 million interest payment for not complying with a ruling to also pay a group of defaulted bondholders. Those so-called holdout creditors, led by hedge- fund Elliott Management Corp., refused to accept new bonds worth about 30 cents on the dollar in restructurings in 2005 and 2010 and instead sued for better terms. Until Argentina pays them about $1.5 billion or reaches a settlement, the nation can’t pay interest on any of its overseas debt.

Soros, 84, is the world’s 23rd wealthiest person with a net worth of $26.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Hungarian-born investor increased his fortune 14% this year.

08/15/2014

 

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