January 19, 2011 / 2:26 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Colombia, Peru stock markets to merge

(Adds quote from official in Lima)

BOGOTA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Colombia and Peru’s stock markets have agreed to merge in order to strengthen a planned larger integration between the two bourses and the Chilean exchange, Colombia’s stock exchange chief said on Wednesday.

Bolsa de Valores de Colombia .IGBC will have 64 percent of the new company and Peru’s Bolsa de Valores de Lima .IGRA will hold 36 percent after the merger, which must be approved by both boards and regulators.

“The operation will generate value for both countries by allowing them to develop together a larger and more diverse capital market,” Colombian bourse chief Juan Pablo Cordoba said in a statement.

Exchanges in Chile .IPSA, Peru and Colombia said in November they planned to integrate their operations to bring together the stocks of more than 560 companies, more than any other single stock market in Latin America.

This would effectively cross-list stocks on each of the three countries’ exchanges. Combined daily trading volume of about $300 million is expected, trailing Brazil and Mexico.

Peru’s Congress passed a bill last month to unify capital gains taxes at 5 percent for retail investors. Bourse officials said this would level out taxes and help with the integration.

Francis Stenning, general manager of Lima’s bourse, said the integration effort had run into slight delays, however.

“We’ve extended the test period for six weeks after working on this project for two years. We’ve advanced a great deal; it’s a big, complex project that requires a lot of technology.” (Reporting by Monica Garcia in Bogota and Patricia Velez in Lima; Editing by Terry Wade and James Dalgleish)

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