Colombia is aiming state-run oil company Ecopetrol shares at foreign investors and sovereign investment funds, hoping to raise $3 billion, the mining and energy minister told Bloomberg Friday.
Mauricio Cardenas said the government would sell up to 3 percent of its 88.5% stake in the petroleum company, adding “The new investors will have to come from overseas.”
The sale is dependent on approval from Congress, which is likely to come in the first six months of 2012 — though getting the necessary support could be “a difficult process”, according to Colombian brokerage Interbolsa SA.
The minister said “We have to do a lot of promotion and marketing abroad … We’d like to explore appetite for this in Asia.”
In order to increase production, Ecopetrol has developed an $80 billion spending plan for the next ten years. It plans to invest $8.47 billion in 2012, mainly in production and transport, up from $6.74 billion in 2011.
Cardenas said that the demand for shares within Colombia was probably met by a domestic share sale in August 2011 which raised COP 2.4 trillion ($1.3 billion).
The government has proposed selling as much as 10% of the petroleum company in order to finance reconstruction works after flooding caused by winter rains and La Niña.