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Sonda Falls in Chile Amid Panama Contract Loss Concern

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Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Sonda SA, Chile’s largest information technology services provider, fell on concern the Panamanian government may cancel one of its contracts.

Sonda retreated 0.7 percent to 1,359.60 pesos at the close of trading in Santiago, snapping two days of gains. The IPSA benchmark index advanced 0.2 percent.

Panama’s government may cancel the company’s contract to operate the system of prepaid fare cards used in the country’s Mi Bus system because of deficient services, President Ricardo Martinelli said Aug. 9 in a televised interview in TVN Noticias.

“We expect Sonda’s stock to soften due to this news,” Francisco Errandonea and Valder Nogueira, analysts at Banco Santander SA, said in an e-mailed note today. The company may seek to negotiate with the Panamanian government to improve services and avoid losing the concession, they said.

The contract is for $150 million for 15 years, or less than 1 percent of Sonda’s monthly revenue, Santander said.

A Sonda press official, who asked not to be identified because of company policy, declined to comment. Phone calls and an e-mail to a press official at Panama’s Office of the President weren’t answered.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

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

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