U.S. Markets closed

Colombia presents tax reform bill to Congress

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's government on Wednesday presented to Congress a tax reform bill that seeks to raise additional cash to make up for lost oil revenue and preserve its investment grade credit rating.

The reform, which must be approved by year-end to kick-in next year, is widely expected to raise value-added tax from 16 percent and tax dividends people receive for owning company shares.

The finance ministry is set to lay out details of the reform in a press conference on Wednesday evening.

The tax reform, which looks to hike revenue by between 1 percent or 2 percent of gross domestic product, is seen as crucial to preserving Colombia's BBB investment grade credit rating and is also needed to fund anti-poverty programs.

Congress approved a spending budget of 224.4 trillion pesos ($77.2 billion) for 2017 on Wednesday.

($1 = 2,905.93 Colombian pesos)

(Reporting by Carlos Vargas; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bernard Orr)