The Colombian IGBC stock index fell Wednesday, dragged down by shares of state-controlled power company Isagen SA as the government delayed the sale of its controlling stake in the company.
The IGBC stock index fell 0.3% to 10,627.87 points, after rising 3.7% over the previous three sessions.
The most-traded shares were Isagen’s that fell 2.9% to 2,190 Colombian pesos (US$1.09).
Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga said Tuesday the government decided to use the COP3 trillion it expects to receive from the sale of its controlling stake Isagen in 2010 instead of 2009. The sale will take place this year, he said.
“The timing for the sale is a bit tight, there are a lot of steps before we can carry it out, so we decided to postpone the money transfer to early 2010 to calm the market,” said Natalia Salazar, Zuluaga’s vice minister, Tuesday.
The postponement of the sale, which had been scheduled for October, pushed investors to sell, said Rupert Stebbings, a Medellin-based analyst with local brokerage Interbolsa SA.
He speculated that the government delayed it because either there are too few companies interested in the sale or there are too many that are asking questions about the process. Stebbings added that the government and the investment bank handling the planned sale may be involved in discussions over the minimum price.
Shares of state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol SA fell 1.1% to COP2,680.
On the debt market, the yield on the benchmark government peso-denominated bond maturing in 2020 rose to 9.539%, from 9.426% on Tuesday.
Zuluaga on Tuesday said the government will sell COP2 trillion additional in local bonds this year. Stebbings said the net effect of those new bonds isn’t that significant. The government will sell the bonds in October and November instead of January and February.
The peso Wednesday weakened to COP2,011.5 to the U.S. dollar from COP2,002 on Tuesday.