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Ecopetrol Drags Colcap to Worst Month Since June: Bogota Mover

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March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s Colcap gauge headed for its biggest monthly drop since June, led by a slump in state-controlled Ecopetrol SA after the oil producer reported a third straight quarterly profit decline.

Ecopetrol, the most heavily weighted stock on the Colcap, contributed the most to the index’s drop, followed by Grupo Argos SA, whose cement-making unit Cementos Argos SA has announced plans to sell shares.

“Ecopetrol lost some of its appeal after its last report, which showed that growth has really slowed,” Juan David Ballen, an analyst at Alianza brokerage, said in a telephone interview from Bogota. “There’s this feeling that it isn’t what it used to be, and we’ve seen some strong selling from investors.”

The Colcap has dropped 4 percent in March, which would be the biggest monthly slump since June. The stock index was down 0.2 percent at 12:03 p.m. in Bogota today, the last trading day of the month. Ecopetrol slid 0.4 percent, extending its monthly decline to 3.1 percent. Grupo Argos lost 0.3 percent and was down 4.5 percent in March.

Bogota-based Ecopetrol reported last month that fourth-quarter net income fell 18 percent to 3.62 trillion pesos ($1.98 billion) from 4.4 trillion pesos a year earlier.

Fabricato SA was the Colcap’s biggest loser in March, tumbling 72 percent after a trading suspension was lifted at the beginning of the month. Shares were unchanged today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Jenkins in Bogota at cjenkins28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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