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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Colombia court blocks sale of Ecopetrol stake | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com

Colombia court blocks sale of Ecopetrol stake
April 5, 2011 2:48 am by Naomi Mapstone

Colombia will take longer than planned to sell off up to 10 per cent of state oil company Ecopetrol after the country’s constitutional court blocked the presidential decree authorising the sale.

Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, had planned to use the proceeds of the sale to help fund flood recovery and reconstruction efforts after the worst winter rains in the country’s history.

But the court, which proved its fortitude last year when it blocked former president Alvaro Uribe from running for a third consecutive term, has ruled against the mechanism.

Mr Santos has the numbers in Congress to push the issue through eventually, and officials have recently suggested the government is more likely to sell a smaller parcel of shares, between 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

Separately, Ecopetrol is already doing the legwork for the sale of 9.9 per cent stake for which it already has authorisation. The company is 89.9 per cent state-owned after a 2007 partial privatisation.

read the story here: Colombia court blocks sale of Ecopetrol stake | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com

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