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Colombian Stock Movers: Ecopetrol Gains; Avianca Taca Drops

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- 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 gained 0.4 percent to 14,573.77, while the Colcap Index rose 0.3 percent to 1,710.76.

Avianca Taca Holding SA (PFAVTA CB), the owner of Colombia’s largest airline, fell 0.2 percent to 4,395 pesos.

The company had a third day of flight cancelations as air traffic controllers protested to demand better labor conditions. Avianca Taca canceled at least 21 flights and another 25 were delayed today, according to a statement by Colombia’s civil aviation agency. Avianca has also blamed foggy weather and infrastructure deficiencies for the operational difficulties, according to a Feb. 15 e-mailed statement.

Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL CB), Colombia’s largest oil company, rose 1.8 percent to 5,060 pesos, the highest since November 2007.

Fourth-quarter profit jumped 64 percent from a year ago to 4.4 trillion pesos ($2.47 billion), as crude production climbed, the company said Feb. 15. Profit exceeded the 4.36 trillion pesos average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

If Ecopetrol decides to maintain its current dividend policy in a shareholder meeting next month it would have one of the highest payments by a Colombian company in 2012, Samuel David Garcia, an analyst at Valores Bancolombia, said in an e-mailed statement today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Bogota at bschmidt16@bloomberg.net

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

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