President Juan Manuel Santos has green-lighted the start of the process to sell an additional 9.9% stake in state oil firm Ecopetrol SA, resources that will be used to finance road and infrastructure projects over the coming years.
Santos made the announcement during a speech at an infrastructure conference in the coastal city of Cartagena.
“I have given instructions to Ecopetrol to start the sale process of 9.9% of its shares so the funds from the sale are mainly invested in the large road development projects the country needs,” Santos said.
The sale would complete the privatization of a 20% stake of Ecopetrol authorized by Colombia’s Congress in 2006. The government currently holds an 89.9% stake in the oil firm.
Ecopetrol’s investment plan for next year will require $6.06 billion in financing, which the company says could be obtained from floating an additional 9.9% stake next year.
Another option is the sale of “bonds in both the local and international capital markets,” the firm said on Nov. 16.
Shares of Ecopetrol declined 2.31% Thursday in the Bogota bourse to close at COP4,020. (Darcy Crowe / Dow Jones Newswires)