Best Bank - Local Investment Bank - Colombia

Oct 31, 2007

Bancolombia is going through a growth spurt. In the past year it has taken a significant step into the region with a sizable acquisition; boosted its balance sheet with bold debt and equity issues; led the local tranche of some of LatAm's most high-profile privatizations, and consolidated its leading position in Colombia's corporate and retail banking segments.

When Colombia's largest bank by deposits said it would acquire El Salvador's Banco Agrícola in late 2006, the news turned heads. While a relatively small market, El Salvador is the only Central American country with an investment grade rating and it sports a dollarized economy with stable institutions. The $900 million purchase, paid for in cash by Bancolombia's Panamanian division, gives Bancolombia nearly a third of El Salvador's deposit base.

More importantly, however, is the overall effect of the acquisition on Bancolombia's size. Pro-forma numbers at the time of the...

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