August 30, 2017 / 6:03 PM / in a year

Colombia will use telecom fines to pre-finance 2018 budget

BOGOTA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Colombia will use $980 million in fines paid by mobile phone operators to pre-finance budgetary needs for next year, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Wednesday.

In July, a Colombian arbitration panel fined Mexico’s America Movil SAB de CV and Spain’s Telefonica SA for failing to meet contractual conditions for cellular services.

“We will use it to reduce our outside financing needs, we’ll reinforce the pre-financing for next year,” Cardenas told reporters, referring to the 472 million euros owed by Telefonica’s Movistar division and $1.08 billion owed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil.

Reporting by Carlos Vargas and Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Andrew Hay

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