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UPDATE 2-Colombia regulator takes Interbolsa brokerage control

Friday, 2 Nov 2012 | 1:58 PM ET

(Adds share suspension)

BOGOTA, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Colombia's financial markets regulator, citing a liquidity problem, said on Friday that it was taking administrative control of the country's biggest stock brokerage, Interbolsa.

The firm, which executes a third of the daily operations on the stock exchange, said on Thursday that it had a ``temporary liquidity constraint'' but continued to operate normally, which caused its shares to plunge 30 percent.

The regulator said on Friday that it would decide within two months, with a possible extension of another couple of months, if the brokerage could be subject to liquidation.

Clients' resources were not at risk, it said.

Interbolsa is part of a group with the same name that includes insurance and investment arms and also operates in Brazil, Panama and the United States.

The move only affects the stock brokerage and not the rest of the group, the regulator said.

The Andean nation's stock exchange suspended trading of the group's shares on Friday for five working days following the regulator's announcement about the group's brokerage, traders said, c i ting a statement from the bourse.

(Reporting by Bogota Newsroom; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)