Gustavo Petro, mayor-elect of Colombia’s capital, denied on Twitter that his comments caused this week’s plunge in shares of Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA (EEB) and vowed to defend the city-controlled company with his life against “speculative” private interests.
EEB, as country’s second-biggest electricity distributor is known, fell 3.7 percent to 1,050 pesos at 10:57 a.m. in Bogota. Shares have fallen 17 percent in the three days since Petro questioned the company’s investments in Peru and detailed plans to merge EEB with the city-controlled telecommunications and sewage and water companies in a Dec. 2 interview with El Tiempo. Colombia’s IGBC benchmark index dropped 3.6 percent in that same period.
Petro said he had already laid out his merger plan during his campaign and that the share decline was caused by external economic factors.
“The decline in the shares that trade on the bourse has nothing to do with the fact that I repeated what the people decided on Oct. 30 with their vote,” Petro said in a string of Twitter posts today. “No one should expect mayor Petro to subject the public interest to the particular, even if it costs me my life.”
Petro, a former member of the M-19 Marxist guerrilla movement and ex-senator, won with 32 percent support in an Oct. 30 vote.
To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Bogota at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org