July 1, 2001
The imminent merger of Colombia's three tiny stock exchanges into a unified national market is the biggest shake-up for years in the country's capital markets. At a stroke, liquidity and transparency should significantly improve. But Augusto Acosta, president of the Bogotá bolsa, which is soon to disappear, knows the changes will not by themselves bring investors rushing back.
Country risk is so high that Colombia has virtually disappeared from the international view as a spot for equity investment. "But when country risk changes, investors will come back with a lot more confidence to a unified bourse," Acosta says. "We have to build the road first, to get where we want to go."
In July, Colombia's three feeble stock exchanges merge into a unified bourse. The question is, will the change restore equity investment in the country, even if sovereign risk improves?