Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil company, jumped the most in three months after proposing a cut in the dividend for 2012 that was less than the drop in last year’s net income.
Shares gained 1.5 percent to 5,320 pesos at 11:51 a.m. in Bogota, the biggest increase on a closing basis since Nov. 15. Ecopetrol contributed the most to a 0.4 percent increase in the benchmark Colombian Colcap index.
The Bogota-based company’s board proposed a 291 peso per share dividend for 2012, down 3 percent from 300 pesos for 2011, Ecopetrol said in a Feb. 22 regulatory filing after the market closed. Net income fell 4.4 percent last year.
“The company tried to maintain a dividend very close to the one before it,” Sebastian Gallego, an analyst at Corredores Asociados SA, said in a telephone interview. “They decided to increase the payout to not disappoint the market.”
Ecopetrol will propose the dividend at a shareholder meeting on March 21, according to the filing.