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Coke Bottler Arca Declines on Report of Higher Proposed Tax

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Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Arca Continental SAB, Latin America’s second-biggest Coca-Cola bottler, extended its third straight weekly decline after a newspaper reported that lawmakers are considering a higher proposed tax on soda.

The shares fell 1 percent to 82.35 pesos at the close in Mexico City, extending the weekly slump to 1.8 percent. The benchmark IPC index of 35 Mexican companies rose 1.2 percent and was 0.2 percent higher on the week.

Lower-house lawmakers from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party and the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party plan to increase the rate of a proposed tax on sodas, Reforma reported today on its website. The move would tax sodas 2 pesos per liter instead of 1 peso under an earlier bill, Reforma said, citing unidentified negotiators from both parties. Press officials for the parties didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

“That’s surely what’s hitting the share price,” Karla Miranda, an analyst at Corporativo GBM SAB, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City. “For several weeks, beverage company stocks have been reacting to rumors about news on the soda tax.”

Arca Continental’s Mexico drinks unit accounted for 76 percent of its sparkling-beverage volume during the first half of the year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net

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