Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- YPF SA, Argentina’s biggest company, is planning to sell bonds for the first time in Swiss francs, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

The state-controlled oil company has authorization from its board to sell as much as $500 million of bonds in any currency, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. The offering make take place later this month or in October.

Representatives for Buenos Aires-based YPF declined to comment.

Selling bonds in Swiss Francs would open the company to a new debt market, said one of the people. Former Total SA executive Ricardo Darre, who became YPF’s chief executive officer in June, is planning to divest non-core assets and boost holdings in areas like natural gas as part of an effort to focus on projects that pay off quickly.

Proceeds of the offering would support working capital, refinance debt and back future acquisitions, said one of the people.

As of June 30, YPF had $8.2 billion in total debt, according to a filing with the local regulator. The ratio of its net debt to Ebitda -- earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- was 1.8 times, according to a filing with the local regulator.

YPF is one of Argentina’s most prolific bond issuers, with more than 30 debt securities currently outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s most actively traded bond, $1.5 billion of 8.5 percent notes that mature in 2025, dropped to 107.55 cents on the dollar at 11:32 a.m. in New York from 107.4 cents on Wednesday, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

--With assistance from Carolina Millan To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nabila Ahmed at nahmed54@bloomberg.net, Faris Khan, Eric J. Weiner

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