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Colombian Peso Gains Near Six-Month High on Greek Aid Optimism

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s peso rose, approaching a six-month high, as optimism Greece will get a bailout buoyed appetite for higher-yielding, emerging-market assets.

The peso climbed 0.3 percent to 1,778.50 per U.S. dollar, from 1,784.50 yesterday. It touched 1,770 on Feb. 9, its strongest intraday level since August. The peso gained 0.3 percent this week, and has jumped 7.9 percent in the past three months, the best performance among 25 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

“There’s less nervousness in the market today and that’s helping risk appetite,” said Pedro Ospina, a fixed-income analyst at Interbolsa SA, the country’s biggest brokerage.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos expressed optimism that an agreement on Greece can be reached at a Feb. 20 meeting of euro-area finance ministers.

In a bid to ease gains in the peso, Colombia’s central bank began buying $20 million daily in the spot market for at least three months beginning Feb. 6. Banco de Republica would like to see a weaker and more stable peso, Juan Jose Echavarria, a co-director at the monetary authority, told reporters this week.

The yield on the government’s 10 percent peso bonds due July 2024 rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.35 percent, according to the central bank. The price fell 0.140 centavo to 121.081 centavos per peso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at ajaramillo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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