Colombia’s Cardenas Backtracks on Plan to Reduce Debt Early

Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said the government isn’t considering paying down foreign debt ahead of schedule, backtracking on comments he made earlier in the day.

“We can reduce planned overseas borrowing and simply allow foreign debt to decline via amortizations,” Cardenas said in an interview today on National Radio. Buying back “foreign bonds isn’t a good idea because once you announce” a bond repurchase, prices on the securities rise, Cardenas said.

Cardenas, 50, had said in an earlier interview on Javeriana Radio that the government may reduce spending and use the proceeds to pay down foreign debt.

A Finance Ministry official declined to comment.