Mexico's finance minister said on Thursday that if state oil giant Pemex opted to sell its 9.3 percent stake in Spanish peer Repsol, it would "not be a bad decision" because the money could be invested in Mexico.
In an interview with Mexican radio, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said Pemex's board would take the decision on whether to sell the stake in Repsol.
"Irrespective of what the board decides, if the decision is to disinvest in a company like Repsol that operates outside of Mexico so as to get this capital and invest it in the opportunities which Pemex will have in Mexico, it wouldn't be a bad decision," Videgaray said.
Pemex, which is Repsol's third-biggest stakeholder, has had an increasingly confrontational relationship with the Spanish oil major, due in large part to disagreements over how Repsol handled the loss of a unit in Argentina and the degree of influence it has allowed its Mexican partner.
Pemex is mulling a sale and has hired Credit Agricole to handle the details, according to a published report this week in Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial, which cited unnamed financial sources.
At current market prices, the Pemex stake in Repsol is worth more than 2.3 billion euros ($3.2 billion). (Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Richard Chang)