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Argentine oil spat may result in Repsol downgrade

(AP) MADRID - Moody's rating agency says it is placing Repsol's credit grade on review for downgrade after Argentina announced it would wrest control YPF, the country's biggest oil company, from the Spanish energy firm.

Moody's said in a statement Wednesday it might downgrade the Baa2 long-term issuer rating of Repsol YPF SA (REP) and the Baa2/Prime-2 ratings of Repsol International Finance B.V.'s senior unsecured guaranteed debt.

Argentina announced Monday it intended to take control of 51 percent of YPF's shares from Repsol.

The decision sparked a serious spat with Spain, which warns there will be reprisals.

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Moody's said that without adequate compensation, the expropriation will weaken Repsol's credit metrics.

Repsol's shares lost 6 percent Tuesday and were down nearly 3 percent Wednesday.