Colombian Stock Movers: Empresa de Energia Declines, ETB Gains

The following companies are having unusual price changes in Bogota trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 12:24 p.m. local time.

The IGBC Index was little changed at 12,661.29, while the Colcap Index gained 0.5 percent to 1,551.3.

Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA (EEB CB), Colombia’s second-biggest electricity distributor, sank for a third day after Bogota’s mayor-elect Gustavo Petro told the daily El Tiempo he plans a merger with other public companies including Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota SA.

Colombia’s securities regulator suspended trading of the shares for three business days as a preventive measure to protect investors, “taking into account the behavior that the shares have had in recent days,” according to an e-mailed statement.

Petro said today on Twitter that he had already revealed the plan during his campaign and that his comments didn’t spark the declines.

EEB, as the city-controlled company is known, fell 3.7 percent to 1,050 pesos before trading was halted. The shares have fallen 17 percent in three days.

Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota SA (ETB CB), the city-run phone company serving Colombia’s capital, gained 4.7 percent to 450 pesos. Investors are reacting positively to Petro’s merger plan after the initial “panic” has subsided.

“ETB is seeking a strategic partner and clearly the arrival of a partner like EEB is positive because they have cash flow that ETB doesn’t have,” said Santiago Melo, analyst at Alianza Valores, “ETB is the big winner in this.”

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