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Colombia Peso Bond Yields Rise as Tax Debated; Peso Unchanged

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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s peso bond yields rose as lawmakers debate a tax bill this week that includes a proposal to lower foreigners’ bond profits.

The yield on the government’s 10 percent peso-denominated bonds due in July 2024 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 5.94 percent, according to the central bank. The price fell 0.157 centavo to 133.293 centavos per peso.

“We’ll continue to see a lot of volatility in the market this week with the tax reform,” said Jorge Cardozo, an analyst at Corredores Asociados brokerage in Bogota.

Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas told Caracol Radio today that a 25 percent tax on foreigners’ bond profits is “adequate.” His comments come after Senator Juan Mario Laserna, who is part of the government coalition and a member of the Senate’s economic commission, said in an interview last week that lawmakers cut the proposed tax on foreigners’ bond profits to 14 percent in draft legislation being debated in Congress.

Congress is also debating a 5 percent tax on stock dividends exceeding 200 million pesos ($111,222), which are currently untaxed, Laserna said in an interview today with W Radio.

Colombia’s central bank will meet Dec. 21 for this year’s last monetary policy meeting. The central bank may leave the overnight lending rate unchanged at 4.5 percent, according to 26 of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. One analyst expects a 25 basis point cut to 4.25 percent.

The peso was little changed at 1,796.1 per U.S. dollar, leaving it 7.9 percent higher for the year.

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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