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Colombian Peso Touches Highest Level Since July 2011

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s peso, the third-biggest gainer in 2012 among the world’s currencies, touched a 17-month high after U.S. lawmakers passed a bill averting tax increases that had threatened the economic recovery.

The currency appreciated 0.2 percent to 1,763.50 per dollar. Earlier it touched 1,750.50, the strongest level since July 2011. The peso rallied 9.7 percent in 2012, the most after the Polish zloty and Hungarian forint among 171 dollar counterparts tracked by Bloomberg.

“Investors are euphoric,” Marisol Torres, an analyst at Bogota-based Helm Bank SA, said in a phone interview. Stocks and commodities surged globally after the U.S. accord.

The peso rallied in 2012 as army victories over guerrillas opened up swaths of the countryside to mining and oil production. Colombia’s central bank chief Jose Dario Uribe said on RCN Radio today that the strong peso is a concern and reiterated that Banco de la Republica will buy at least $20 million a day through at least the first quarter. Policy makers will double daily purchases to a minimum of $40 million should the currency extends its increase, Torres said.

The yield on Colombia’s 10 percent peso-denominated securities due in July 2024 was little changed at 5.66 percent, according to the central bank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at

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