UPDATE 3-Argentina's YPF sells $500 mln in bonds, 1st int'l sale since default

miércoles 4 de febrero de 2015 16:55 GYT

(New throughout, adds results of sale)

By Richard Lough and Eliana Raszewski

BUENOS AIRES Feb 4 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-run energy company YPF sold $500 million of bonds on Wednesday, a third less than it had offered in its first international debt sale since the South American country tipped into default in July.

YPF's 2018 and 2024 notes fetched yields of 8.5 percent and 8.95 percent respectively. Local traders said YPF received offers for up to $1 billion in debt, but many were for higher yields than it would accept.

"Although the demand was higher than the maximum we were authorized to issue, we decided to take the amount that best combined financial cost and placement, consistent with our serious financing strategy," YPF Chief Financial Officer Daniel Gonzalez said in a statement.

Argentina needs to ramp up production from its vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas resource in order to reverse a gaping energy sector trade deficit that is pressuring low foreign reserves.

Before the sale, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said during his daily news conference the $750 million bond offering "was aimed at boosting investment volumes in the context of becoming energy independent.".

Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Banco Itau Argentina were acting as lead mandate banks in the sale, and the securities are listed in Luxembourg and Buenos Aires, Thomson Reuters' IFR reported.

Argentina has the world's second largest shale gas resources and fourth largest shale oil resources but officials say financing is beyond the reach of state-controlled energy firm YPF and regional governments.   Continuación...