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Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos announced November 12 that his government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) have signed a revised “peace” agreement following five weeks of talks that took place in the wake of a national plebiscite.

Medellin-based construction giant Conconcreto announced November 9 that its third-quarter (3Q) 2016 net profits rose 23% year-on-year while gross income hit COP$1.1 trillion (US$353 million), up 29% year-on-year.

The “Ruta N” high-tech innovation center partly funded by the Medellin city government announced November 10 the launch of an “Innovation Managers II” program, which aims to help 121 local companies train 261 managers in corporate innovation projects.

Medellin-based Bancolombia – Colombia’s biggest bank – once again took first place over-all in the latest Merco rankings for best reputations among Colombian companies.

Taking second place was Medellin-based food-products giant Nutresa, with Cementos Argos taking fourth place. Medellin-based Grupo Sura (insurance, finance) took eighth place; Grupo EPM (public utilities) came in ninth and Grupo Exito (supermarkets, retail) took 10th place in the Merco rankings.

Other Medellin and Antioquia-based companies in the Merco top 100 include soft-drink maker Postobon (14th); electric power producer Isagen (16th); national electricity grid operator ISA (21st); metro-rail, bus and cable-car operator Metro de Medellin (22nd); home appliance manufacturer Haceb (37th); telecom-internet giant Tigo-Une (59th); bathroom-tissue maker Grupo Familia (60th); Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe (63rd); dairy producer Colanta (67th); Hospital Universitario San Vicente Fundacion (69th); automobile assembler Renault-Sofasa (74th); pension and investment manager AFP Proteccion (75th);  electric power producer Celsia (84th); women’s underwear maker Leonisa (92nd); and construction giant Conconcreto (93rd).

Top leaders

Among Colombia’s top corporate leaders ranked in the survey were Medellin-based David Bojanini, president of insurance/financial giant Grupo Sura (ranked 3rd  over-all); Carlos Mario Giraldo, president of Grupo Exito (4th); Grupo Nutresa president Carlos Ignacio Gallego (5th); and now-retired Grupo Bancolombia president Carlos Raul Yepes (7th).

Other Medellin corporate leaders in the Merco top 100 include Grupo Argos president Jorge Mario Velazquez (11th); current Bancolombia president Juan Carlos Mora (13th); Cementos Argos president Juan Esteban Calle (16th); EPM president Jorge Londoño de la Cuesta (18th); former Grupo Argos president Jose Alberto Velez (22nd); Eafit University president Juan Luis Mejia (25th); Andi president Bruce MacMaster (29th); Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe president Andres Aguirre (35th); Industrias Haceb president Cipriano Lopez (36th); Isagen president Luis Fernando Rico (41st); Postobon president Miguel Fernando Escobar (47th); ISA president Bernardo Vargas Gibsone (48th); former Metro de Medellin director Claudia Patricia Restrepo (49th); Colanta president Jenaro Perez (54th); Conconcreto president Juan Luis Aristizabal (56th); former VivaColombia president Juan Emilio Posada (61st); former AFP Proteccion president Mauricio Toro Bridge (76th); current AFP Proteccion president Juan David Correa (79th); former Grupo Familia president Dario Rey Mora (82nd) and former Tigo-Une president Esteban Iriarte (87th).             

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development and UK-based Wellcome Foundation jointly announced October 26 that they’re funding a novel, US$18-million project to stop Zika and dengue diseases -- initially focusing on Antioquia and Brazil.

A huge landslide October 16 from a rock mine at kilometer 13 of the Medellin-Bogota highway in the municipality of Copacabana has claimed at least 16 lives with uncertainty remaining about several other persons that had been reported missing.

On the heels of finalizing a US$50 million strategic investment deal with U.S.-based Christus Health last month, Colombian health insurer and clinic operator Coomeva is moving to rationalize its service network and shore-up its financially troubled “Coomeva EPS” subsidiary.

The Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio Colombo Americana) on October 20 hailed recent advances in the “Plan Vallejo” regulatory and reporting scheme that covers imports and exports into-and-out-of Colombia.

Colombia’s Home Minister (Ministro de Hacienda) Mauricio Cardenas on October 19 finally unveiled a long-awaited, 182-pages-long tax reform proposal that would bring business and investment taxes more in-line with international standards -- and thus help Colombia attract more investment while creating more “formal” employment as well as more personal income taxes.

The Colombian national Congress on October 19 approved a 2017 budget of COP$224 trillion (US$76 billion) on the same day that the Home Ministry (Ministerio de Hacienda) proposed a new tax-reform scheme that aims to make Colombia more competitive and attract more investment.

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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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