EEB Falls as Ecopetrol May Sell $486 Million Stake: Bogota Mover

Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA, the Colombian capital’s power utility, fell the most in 11 months as state-controlled oil producer Ecopetrol SA said it may sell a stake that was worth 915 billion pesos ($486 million) yesterday.

The shares dropped 2.8 percent to 1,410 pesos at 10:14 a.m. in Bogota after tumbling 4.8 percent in the biggest intraday decline since August 2012. EEB was the worst performer on the Colcap index, which gained 0.4 percent. The stock fell for a second day after rallying this week to a two-year high.

Ecopetrol said in a regulatory filing today that its board approved taking steps toward a possible sale of its 6.9 percent stake in EEB. Ecopetrol hasn’t set a date for a sale and doesn’t yet have needed government authorization, according to the filing.

“With both being public companies, there’s a lot of uncertainty over what process the sale would take,” Jaime Pedroza, an analyst at Credicorp Capital’s Colombia unit in Bogota, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a valuable company and there could be a lot of investors interested, but regulations may complicate the sale.”

Ecopetrol wants to focus on its “core” business, a press official said in an e-mailed response to questions. Its shares advanced 0.5 percent to 4,255 pesos.