Shares in Empresas de Energia de Bogota, the country’s second largest electricity supplier, have fallen 17% in three days since Gustavo Petro gave an interview to newspaper El Tiempo in which he questioned their investments and plans.
On his Twitter account today Petro blamed the drop on external economic factors, and vowed to defend the city-controlled company with his life.
In the interview he questioned the company’s investments in Peru, and outlined plans to merge EEB with city-controlled telecommunications and sewage and water companies – plans which were part of his campaign manifesto.
Petro said in his tweets; “The decline in the shares (…) has nothing to do with the fact that I repeated what the people decided on Oct. 30 with their vote,” and “No one should expect mayor Petro to subject the public interest to the private, even if it costs me my life.”
Colombia’s financial regulatory body said Wednesday it was suspending trading of EEB shares for three business days as a preventative measure, in order to protect investors.
The regulatory body said it made the decision “taking into account the behavior that the shares have had in recent days,” according to an e-mailed statement.
The municipal government of Bogota controls the company and owns 81.5% of it.