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Colombian Stock Movers: Grupo Aval Declines; Helm Bank Advances

The following companies had unusual price changes in Bogota trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 4 p.m. local time.

The IGBC Index fell 0.2 percent to 14,084.97, while the Colcap Index dropped 0.1 percent to 1,657.28.

Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA (PFAVAL CB), Colombia’s biggest banking group by assets, fell 0.8 percent to 1,230 pesos. Colombian policy makers are studying new measures to slow consumer credit growth, central bank co-director Carlos Gustavo Cano said in an interview yesterday.

Helm Bank SA (PFBHELMB CB), a Colombian lender, rose 5.5 percent to 366 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.”

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