March 17, 2020 / 1:28 PM / 18 days ago

Colombia to cut bond issues by 6%, or $366 million

BOGOTA, March 17 (Reuters) - Colombia will reduce its local TES bond auction tranche for this year by 1.5 trillion pesos ($365.8 million), the finance ministry said on Tuesday, amid market volatility created by the spread of coronavirus.

The country will now auction TES paper worth a total of 23 trillion pesos in 2020, the ministry said in a statement. It has already issued some 6.3 trillion pesos.

The measures, meant to “help the functioning of the Colombian public debt market in the current circumstances of financial volatility and operational limitations derived from the coronavirus pandemic,” also include a suspension in sales of short-term TES and long-term peso-denominated TES during March.

The Andean country currently has 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which has infected over 170,000 and killed nearly 6,700 worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.

Coronavirus has roiled global markets and sent Colombia’s peso currency to record lows against the dollar. State-run oil company Ecopetrol has cut its planned investment for 2020 by $1.2 billion amid the outbreak and the increase in global crude supply.

$1 = 4,099.93 Colombian pesos Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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