Colombia to bring in $297 mln from Isagen sale next week

Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:57am EST
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BOGOTA Jan 26 (Reuters) - Colombia's government will next week bring into the nation one billion pesos ($297 million), part of the proceeds from the sale of power generator Isagen , to finance so-called 4G infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Tuesday.

"(The national development fund) is asking for the initial contribution quickly, urgently, so it can keep approving financing for 4G and the projects can acquire machinery and staff," Cardenas told journalists.

The funds will be the first portion of the money to be brought into the Andean nation after Isagen was sold to Canada's Brookfield Asset Management for $1.99 billion two weeks ago.

Brookfield last week transferred the sale price into government bank accounts outside Colombia.

The size of the transfer may help ease the Colombian peso's sharp depreciation. The currency has fallen 40 percent in the last twelve months.

The rest of the Isagen money will be brought in gradually, Cardenas said. (Reporting by Carlos Vargas and Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy and Nick Zieminski)