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Ex-Colombian Finance Chief Ocampo Joins Petro’s Team of Advisers

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Columbia University professor Jose Antonio Ocampo joined President-elect Gustavo Petro’s economics team, potentially setting him up for a key role in the next administration.

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The new government takes office Aug. 7 and Ocampo is part of the group managing the handover “for the time being,” he said, in reply to written questions.

The nation’s stocks, bonds and currency sold off this week, as nervous traders reacted to the June 19 election result and waited to see who Petro will appoint to roles such as finance minister, head of the national planning department and director of public credit. The sell-off was led by oil driller Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s largest company, which has lost about a third of its value in dollar terms this month.

The incoming finance team will need to maintain investor confidence without dashing the hopes of millions of Petro supporters who voted for increased welfare payments and a greener economic model.

Ocampo, 69, is one of Colombia’s best-known economists, and has co-authored books with Nobel prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz. He has argued for a more “active” use of the exchange rate and has made the case for a tax on commodities exports. He served as finance minister in the 1990s, as well as agriculture minister and head of the National Planning Department. More recently, he was a co-director of the central bank.

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