(Removes extraneous material in bullet point)
* Aims to use YPF proceeds to return cash to shareholders
* To seek board approval, board due to meet on Wednesday
* Shares up 1 percent
MADRID, May 26 (Reuters) - Spain’s Repsol is asking its board of directors to approve a one euro-per-share special dividend, the oil company said on Monday, spending 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) of funds raised from its recent withdrawal from Argentina.
Repsol has raised more than $6 billion in recent weeks after selling Argentine bonds received in compensation for the country’s seizure of a majority stake in energy company YPF in 2012 and the sale of remaining YPF shares.
This month it said it would put that cash towards buying exploration and production assets, in line with a strategy to boost its upstream oil and gas business, but also left the door open to paying a special dividend or buying back its own stock.
Its monthly board meeting is on Wednesday.
Shares in Repsol were up 1 percent at 20.455 euros per share in early trading, outperforming a 0.5 percent rise on Spain’s blue-chip index.
Analysts said that while the dividend news was positive, concerns of potential stake sales by at least one of Repsol’s main shareholders, Mexican state oil company Pemex, were holding back further gains.
“We do not rule out (Pemex) taking advantage of this newsflow to finally divest,” Banco Sabadell said in a note to clients.
The Mexican government has said the sale of Pemex’s stake in Repsol would “not be a bad decision”.
If Repsol’s board approves the special dividend, Pemex stands to receive 116 million euros ($158 million) in accordance with its 8.75 percent stake, while indebted Spanish builder Sacyr would receive 122 million euros, Thomson Reuters data shows.
Repsol’s largest shareholder, Catalan lender Caixa , would receive about 158 million euros from the 1 euro dividend. ($1 = 0.7336 Euros)
Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by David Goodman