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Isagen Posts Weekly Drop on Stake Sale Opposition: Bogota Mover

Isagen SA posted its first weekly decline since the government said in July that it was seeking to sell its majority stake in the hydropower producer, dropping on concern political opposition may delay a deal.

The shares slid 2.8 percent this week as of 12:40 p.m. in Bogota and were unchanged at 2,980 pesos today. The decline for the week was the second-worst performance on the Colcap index, which was down 0.5 percent today.

Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said July 29 that the government is seeking to sell its 57.66 percent stake in Isagen for a minimum of 2,850 pesos a share, valuing the holding at least 4.5 trillion pesos ($2.3 billion). Isagen said yesterday in a regulatory filing that an administration tribunal notified the government of a demand by former President Alvaro Uribe to halt the sale and that it has 10 days to answer.

“There have been so many politicized statements trying to block the sale that people may be exiting their bets or thinking the process will be delayed,” Jaime Pedroza, an analyst at Credicorp Capital’s Colombia unit in Bogota, said in a telephone interview. “Some investors were counting on the process to be quick and betting that the government would get the bidders it wanted competing for the stake.”

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos appointed Amylkar Acosta as mines and energy minister yesterday. Acosta is an Ecopetrol SA board member who published an opinion column opposing the sale on his website last month.

Acosta’s appointment may be seen as “part of that political risk,” Pedroza said.

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