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Colombia’s Interbolsa Posts Record Fall Amid Funding Squeeze

Interbolsa SA tumbled the most on record as the company said its brokerage unit, the biggest in Colombia, is facing a “temporary” funding shortage.

The stock sank 30 percent to 980 pesos at the close in Bogota to the lowest since 2005, extending its decline this year to 58 percent. The Bogota-based company said in a statement today it’s working to remedy the cash squeeze and that the brokerage is operating normally.

The brokerage “faces a temporary liquidity shortage” and “is exploring all options within its reach to address this situation as soon as possible,” Interbolsa said in a statement. Investors are speculating the funding problem may be worse than the company is indicating, said Diego Usme, an analyst at Bogota-based brokerage Ultrabursatiles SA.

“This raises the question of why, if the brokerage is facing this temporary problem, the group hasn’t been able to support them,” Usme said today in a telephone interview.

Interbolsa Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Jaramillo said last month the company planned to expand into Chile and Peru to capitalize on growth in Andean stock markets.

“We are looking to strengthen the company with a strategic partner that can contribute to its development and expansion in the region,” Jaramillo said in a phone interview Oct. 10.

The company didn’t respond to an e-mail and five calls seeking comment.

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