Colombia’s state-led Ecopetrol said Thursday that the country’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit has approved the sale of an additional 10% stake in the oil company.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in early December had requested approving this on top of the planned sale of a 20% stake, which had already been authorized.
The decree from the ministry authorized the sale under authority of a “state of economic, social and ecological emergency” declared December 7. It added that “severe public calamity has given rise to an insufficiency in ordinary government resources.”
The government currently owns 89.9% of Ecopetrol shares, after it semi-privatized the company with a sale of 10.1% to the public in 2007. Some 9.9% of its Ecopetrol holdings will be sold in 2011, with proceeds going to fund the company’s $10.6 billion investment plan for 2011.
The government has not said when it might complete the additional sale, or whether it will be sold together or in tranches.