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(Adds details on company's investment, energy reform)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Alfa said on Wednesday it paid C$189.4 ($172.7 million) to increase its total stake in Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp to 17.07 percent.
Alfa SAB de CV has been buying shares in Canada's Pacific Rubiales as part of a long-term effort to diversify, as well as to take advantage of a reform that will allow foreign oil companies to develop projects in Mexico for the first time in more than 70 years.
The Mexican company bought 9,017,400 shares at C$21 each on Wednesday taking its total position to 53,657,900, the company said in a statement.
"Alfa bought the shares for investment purposes," the company said in its statement.
Pacific Rubiales shares closed at C$21.65 on Toronto's stock exchange, 3.1 percent above the price Alfa paid to increase its stake.
The shares of Alfa, which owns businesses ranging from petrochemicals to telecommunications and refrigerated foods, closed up 1.87 percent at 40.34 pesos.
Pacific Rubiales is Colombia's No. 2 crude producer, operating in partnership with national oil company Ecopetrol SA .
1 US dollar = 1.0968 Canadian dollar Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Chris Reese and Andre Grenon