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Declining oil prices to hurt Colombia’s economy

January 29, 2015

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Investors are dumping stocks in Colombia’s largest private oil company as the government prepares for mass layoffs sparked by the plunge in crude prices.

Shares of the Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales have fallen by more than half this month and 90 percent since its 2011 high as declining oil prices force the company to slash investments and sell assets. The company, a major tax revenue generator, is also ending its sponsorship of Colombia’s national soccer team.

Prices tumbled another 10 percent Thursday as investors reacted to a Credit Suisse report forecasting shares will fall below CA$1 (80 US cents).

Colombia’s Labor Ministry said Thursday it expects the oil industry to shed up to 25,000 jobs.

Oil sales account for more than half of Colombia’s exports and 15 percent of government revenue.

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