One of Colombia's biggest banks, Bancolombia, is leading the market in earnings in the third quarter of this year, reporting profits of $237.8 million. The reported numbers mean that Bancolombia has earned 2.3% more than the same period as last year with a total loan request increase of 12.9%, including all requests that have not yet been approved or rejected.
The Colombian Rural Development Institute on Wednesday appropriated more than 3,000 acres of land in northern Colombia for formally displaced farmers, local media reports. After months of inspection and litigation, the Colombian Rural Development Institute (Incoder) will give back land in the southern part of the Bolivar department to rural families displaced by the country's years of armed conflict. "Today we are delivering the judgement of the three lots that were privately owned [but] in forfeiture...and identified as vacant," said Miriam Villegas, Incoder's director.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that Colombia and the European Union will ratify a free trade agreement (FTA) on December 13. The proposed deal is expected to be formalized next month and come into effect in 2013, according to media reports. The new trade agreement presents an "opportunity for Latin America to develop closer relations with Portugal and Spain," said Santos, who is currently touring Portugal on state business.
A conservation project in Colombia has broken new ground in the world of forest carbon credits. The project, run as partnership between an Afro-indigenous community and a Colombian company, is the first REDD+ project certified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in Colombia. More importantly, it is also the first certified REDD+ project on community-owned, collectively-titled land.
Wall Street Journal
CorpGroup chairman Alvaro Saieh gives his view on the Colombian banking sector and CorpBanca's plans for it.
The World Bank on Wednesday announced it will loan Colombia $200 million in recognition of good fiscal management. The World Bank Board of Directors approved a loan of $200 million to consolidate economic recovery and fiscal sustainability in Colombia. This marks the second of two loans designed to support the new budget program put forth by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Today at the Halifax International Security Forum, The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, signed a Canada-Colombia Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation, with his Colombian counterpart, Minister of Defense, Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno. This Memorandum of Understanding provides a strategic framework for the growing defence relationship between our countries.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the U.S. showed positive results for both countries since May, according to U.S. Trade representative Ron Kirk. Following a bilateral trade meeting, Ron Kirk revealed that the agreement, which came into effect on May 15, has created more opportunities for exporters of both countries.
Colombia awarded new oil and natural gas blocks today as the fastest-growing major oil producer in Latin America looks to begin offshore exploration and join the global shale boom. Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL), Colombia’s state-run producer, won 12 blocks and a venture between Andes Energia Argentina SA and Integra Oil & Gas picked up seven, Orlando Cabrales, head of the National Hydrocarbons Agency, told reporters. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Hocol SA were also among the winners.
"Voices From Latin America," at Carnegie Hall will see Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda hit the stage on Monday, Nov. 26 as he plays hits from his recent albums. Born in the capital of Colombia, Bogota the jazz harpist got his start form his father Pavelid Castaneda a harp player, composer, singer and teacher.
Planned investment in Colombian oil exploration exceeded $2.6 million with 55 oil contracts signed so far this year, according to newspaper El Espectador. Mines and energy minister Federico Renjifo said that the 2012 figures sought to principally increase the oil reserves of the country.
As of November 26, flights between Colombia and the U.S. are no longer to be limited in terms of routes and frequency of flights, local media reported Tuesday. The proposal gained the approval from Congress on Monday night meaning American commercial airlines can fly to and from the U.S. from any city in Colombia, a practice previously prohibited by an agreementsigned in 1956.
Canada announced Wednesday an additional $1.6 million to Colombia to help bolster the country’s land restitution and peace initiatives. “Canada is proud to support the Government of Colombia’s land restitution efforts,” said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) Diane Ablonczy. The additional $1.6 million will support three projects aimed at helping victims displaced by Colombia’s internal conflict return to their land. “The projects Canada is supporting will make a concrete difference to thousands of families who were forced from their homes,” argued Ablonczy.
The Colombian cement market is profitable indeed. Cementos Argos, the Andean country’s leading producer, is a clear example of that. But leaving aside industry specifics, there is the bigger picture. To local analysts, Cemex’s IPO highlights the confidence investors have in Colombia. “For the Colombian stock market, the stock offering of Cemex Latam means a reaffirmation of confidence in the market from the side of the issuers who look to satisfy their financing and funding needs, as well as from the side of investors who look for opportunities in companies that, somehow, reflect the economic development of the country,” explains Lilian Mora, an analyst with Ultrabursátiles, a trader in Bogotá.
US firm CP Media has teamed with Latin American producer 2&2 to launch an incentive scheme to encourage US television producers to produce in Colombia. The US$100 million joint venture will offer producers up to 50% of the financing for movies or longform television series that are shot in the country.
Wall Street Journal
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has scheduled a visit to Colombia in mid-December, according to a statement from Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas. In a Twitter message, Mr. Cardenas said the IMF director agreed to schedule the visit Dec. 10-11 during a Monday meeting in Mexico City of finance ministers and central bankers from the so-called Group of 20.
Colombia's ambassador to Spain on Monday urged that country's businesses to invest in his country in a bid to allow his country to "open its market and compete as equals with the worlds largest economies." The ambassador, Orlando Sardi de Lima, presented his case at a forum called ''Invest in Colombia, export in Colombia'' that brought together experts, politicians and Spanish small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Moodie Report
Bogotá’s new El Dorado International Airport terminal has opened and is offering a new level of commercial service to the predominantly Colombian passenger base. After an official opening by President Juan Manuel Santos on 17 October, the new terminal began receiving passengers on 19 October and entered full operation on 1 November. Redeveloped under the direction of private consortium Operadora Aeroportuaria Internacional (OPAIN), the 104,000sq m terminal handles all international flights and represents the first phase of the New El Dorado Airport.
The 82nd General Assembly of international police organization Interpol will be hosted in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena. The annual Interpol meeting that was just held in Rome, Italy announced that the following meeting would be held in the Caribbean beach city next year. The Interpol General Assembly is a once a year meeting that makes all "the major decisions affecting general policy" of the organization, including financial, methodological and programing agendas, according to Interpol.
U.S. Grains Council
Colombia has a strong economy that has been growing over the last decade, and even though global commodity prices are higher, Colombia is still a major grain importer because its economy is growing and its currency is strong, said Jaime Rueda, CEO of Escala, a poultry company, at the Export Exchange 2012 last week. "With our strong currency, consumption is still going up because the Colombian people have more purchasing power," Mr Rueda said.
New York Times Style Magazine
The northern section of Bogotá, Colombia, is already home to many of the city’s poshest residences. Now, hip (chévere in the local lingo) eateries are popping up practically on top of one another.
Colombia’s exports rose 6.1 percent to $4.8 billion in September compared with the same month last year, the government statistics agency said today in a report on its website. In the same period a month earlier, exports fell 7.6 percent in August from the same month last year.
Colombia's central bank on Friday forecast 2012 economic growth in the Andean country at between 3.7 percent and 4.9 percent, and said that expansion in the last two quarters will likely be spurred by strong domestic demand. The bank had previously said that full-year gross domestic product would come in between 3 percent and 5 percent.
Expansion of Bogota's international airport, El Dorado, will go ahead after Latin America's largest financial development lenders awarded a loan to the organization spearheading the development. The plans include an entirely new terminal, integrating both domestic and international flights, a new control tower, an additional fire station, new mechanisms to manage cargo and an expansion of areas to park planes.
Colombia will receive a 4G network after the government unveils an auction list to be fought over by the countries mobile service providers on Friday. The auction is based around selling off available frequencies that provide 4G service, meaning faster internet and even the option for 3D television, among other things and will take place in January2013 after final specifications will be made in November and December of 2012.
The International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (EP) on Tuesday advised Europe's legislative body to approve a trade deal with Colombia and Peru. According to a committee press release, "this agreement will greatly enhance economic activity both in the EU and in Colombia and Peru, contributing to economic growth and the prosperity of our peoples."