Finance/Companies news briefs, Aug. 7

Repsol-YPF � Grupo Ipiranga � Pak-Arab Refinery Co. � Total Raffinage Distribution � Total-Parco (Pakistan)

Repsol-YPF SA has confirmed its interest in purchasing Grupo Ipiranga, a major Brazilian oil products distributor and owner of a refinery in Rio Grande do Sul state, reported a Brazilian wire service. Repsol-YPF Director Ramon Blanco said negotiations are continuing. "If this deal is closed, it would be our best option to increase our participation in the Brazilian market, which today is only 2%." Ipiranga's refinery capacity is 12,500 b/d. The firm ranks second after Petroleo Brasileiro SA in Brazilian oil products distribution, in terms of both revenues and volume of products sold.

Pak-Arab Refinery Co. (PARCO) and Total Raffinage Distribution SA have agreed to form a joint venture to market petroleum products in Pakistan. Total will have a 60% stake in the JV and PARCO 40%. According to PARCO, the Total-PARCO (Pakistan) Ltd. JV will make an initial investment of $20 million, although this will increase to $100 million in the future. Total will be eligible to market 25% of the products produced at PARCO's refinery through a nationwide chain of retail outlets under the Total-PARCO brand. The agreement is subject to approval of the directors of both companies.

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