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A Playground for Multilaterals

Sep 1, 2004

Enlightened regulation has made Colombia's debt market a launch pad for innovative new structures from domestic and international issuers.

Colombia is not many people's idea of  a setting for a sophisticated, well-regulated and highly innovative capital market. To the outside world, Colombia is synonymous with civil conflict and the drug trade. Some banks and multinationals even ban senior executives from visiting the country. Government officials became accustomed to coping with headline risk long ago - all senior officials work in closely secured offices and are escorted by guards armed to the teeth - but they still struggle to convince international investors that Colombia has built up one of the region's most sophisticated capital markets. Colombia has shown a remarkable ability to separate the world of business and high finance from the violent struggles hundreds of miles away in the interior. The government's recent successes in combating the guerrillas and restarting growth has slowly started to make Colombia an attractive place to invest in again. The Finance Ministry, the Bogotá...

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