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Telefonica Transfers $226 Million to its Colombia Mobile Phone Unit

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BOGOTA (Dow Jones) Spain's telecom giant Telefonica transferred 450 billion Colombian pesos ($226 million) to its mobile phone unit in Colombia, the company said Tuesday in a statement.

The capital increase will help Telefonica Moviles Colombia, the mobile unit of Telefonica, boost its business in Colombia, the statement said.

"The way our mobile telephone business is going augurs significant growth and we will support it through this capitalization," Telefonica Moviles Colombia Chief Executive Alfonso Gomez said in a statement.

Telefonica Moviles had already secured $600 million in loans from the Inter-American Development Bank and other commercial banks in December.

Three mobile telephone operators compete in the 32 million-line Colombian market.

Telefonica, with a 25.9% market share, competes with Comcel, the local unit of Mexico-based America Movil SA (AMX), which controls about 64.8% of the market, and Colombia Movil, the local unit of Millicom International Cellular, which is third with 9.3% of the market.

-By Inti Landauro, Dow Jones Newswires; 57-1-600 19 80; colombia@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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