Colombia's Ecopetrol authorized to sell $2.15 bln bonds abroad
BOGOTA, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Colombia's state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol has received authorization from the Finance Ministry to sell up to $2.15 billion of bonds on the international market, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Ecopetrol said it had sought the authorization in order to have the option of issuing debt to finance its investment plan, but did not say if or when it would carry out such transactions.
"This authorization does not constitute in itself an issuance of bonds or a financing operation," Ecopetrol said in a filing to the financial market regulator late on Thursday.
The government owns an 88.5 percent stake in the company which produces about two-thirds of Colombia's oil.
Ecopetrol sold $2.5 billion in bonds in September 2013 with durations of five, 10 and 30 years in Colombia's largest ever corporate debt issue.
The company plans to invest more than $60 billion between 2014 and 2020, part of which it will finance through the domestic and foreign debt markets.
The company already has an existing authorization to sell up to $1.55 billion in peso-denominated bonds in Colombia, $900 million of which it already sold in August last year.
Ecopetrol said on Tuesday it had received permission from the government to sell its 1.1 trillion peso ($573 million) stake in local energy generator Empresa Energia de Bogota or EEB . (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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