(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph.)
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Ripley Corp SA, Chile’s third- largest department-store operator, approved a plan to open stores in Colombia next year.
Ripley will invest $272 million over four years in the Andean country and expects to open its first store in the first half of next year, according to a statement posted on the website of Chile’s securities regulator.
Colombia will become Ripley’s third Latin American market after Chile and Peru. Latin America’s economy will grow 3.5 percent this year, exceeding a global expansion of 2.3 percent, according to the median estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Ripley follows larger Chilean rivals SACI Falabella and Cencosud SA into Colombia. The stock fell 0.8 percent to 502.43 pesos at the close in Santiago after sliding as much as 1.5 percent before the Colombian plan was announced.
--Editors: James Attwood, Brendan Walsh
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