Colombian Stocks: Grupo Nutresa Declines; Helm Bank Advances

The following companies are having unusual price changes in Bogota trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 12:04 p.m. local time.

The IGBC Index (IGBC) fell 0.3 percent to 14,067.53, while the Colcap Index dropped 0.2 percent to 1,654.83.

Grupo Nutresa SA (NUTRESA) (NUTRESA CB), Colombia’s biggest food producer, fell 0.1 percent to 22,160 pesos.

Coffee production in Colombia, the world’s second-largest supplier of Arabica beans after Brazil, shrank 41 percent in January after storms last year increased disease and damaged plants, according to Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers.

Helm Bank SA (PFBHELMB) , a Colombian lender, rose 5.2 percent to 365 pesos, a seven-month high.

Helm President Carmina Ferro said controlling stakeholders have no intention of selling amid takeover speculation that’s driven the share price up from a three-year low. Profit growth may accelerate to as much as 30 percent this year as the bank seeks to almost double the retail sector’s share of the bank’s loans to about 25 percent over five years, Ferro said in an interview.

“That profit growth sounds very good and is above expectations,” said David Pelaez, an analyst at Bolsa y Renta. “The fact that the bank is a very cheap possible buy could also be driving up the stock price.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Bogota at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at

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