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CMPC Drops in Santiago on Irregularities at Colombia Unit

Empresas CMPC SA, Chile’s second-largest pulp exporter, fell to the lowest price in almost two months after disclosing accounting irregularities at its Colombian operations that will lead to a $37 million charge.

CMPC fell 1.3 percent to 1,800.3 pesos at the close in Santiago, its lowest price since Jan. 3. The stock was the second-worst performer today on Chile’s benchmark Ipsa index, which rose 0.3 percent.

The Santiago-based company discovered that its Colombian tissue-paper unit had falsely stated revenue, assets and liabilities from 2008 to 2012, according to a statement on the website of Chile’s securities regulator. CMPC plans a restatement that will result in a $37 million charge to 2012 and prior years’ results, CMPC said.

“The whole amount won’t be reflected on last year’s results, but it will definitely destroy value,” Felipe Burr, an analyst at Invertironline-Fit Corredora de Bolsa SA, said in phone interview. “It should continue pressuring the stock next week.”

CMPC had a profit of $166 million in the first nine months of 2012 and is expected to report profit of $90.3 million in the fourth quarter, based on the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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