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Colombian Peso Bonds Rally After S&P Bolsters Debt Outlook

Colombia’s peso bonds rallied the most in two weeks after Standard & Poor’s said it put the country’s credit rating under review for a possible increase, buoying demand for the fixed-rate securities.

The yield on the government’s 10 percent peso-denominated debt due in 2024 fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 6.60 percent at 9:44 a.m. in Bogota, set for its lowest close since the securities were first issued in 2009, according to the central bank.

Standard & Poor’s revised the outlook on Colombia’s credit rating to positive from stable, the agency said in a statement yesterday. Economic growth in the Andean country is increasing government revenue and leading to lower debt levels, S&P said.

“The revision came as a surprise since not too long ago we heard ratings agencies suggest that an improvement wasn’t likely in the short term,” Camilo Perez, the head analyst at Banco de Bogota, the nation’s second-biggest bank, said by phone.

The peso weakened 0.6 percent to 1828.73 per U.S. dollar, paring this year’s gain to 6 percent, the fourth-best performance among 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

The peso is falling on speculation the government will continue to intervene to keep the currency weak, Perez said. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said yesterday the Treasury will buy “at least” $300 million dollars to stem gains and avoid defeat in the so-called “currency war.”

“There’s alarm over whether dollar purchases will end, continue or increase,” Perez said. Echeverry declined to say how many dollars the government has already bought. The Treasury will continue to buy dollars as long as it has the “ammunition” to curb the currency rally, Echeverry said.

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