May 19, 2024
General News

Bancolombia Now Finances More ‘4G’ Highway Projects than All Others

Medellin-based banking giant Bancolombia announced August 1 that with the recent financial close of the “Autopista Conexion Norte” fourth-generation (4G) highway project, it has now taken the lead among Colombian banks in terms of the total number of “4G” projects financed.

To date, Bancolombia has put-up COP$1.2 trillion (US$389 million) for a series of “4G” projects including “Conexion Pacifico III,” the “Via Perimetral Oriental de Cundinamarca,” the “Concesion Costera Cartagena-Barranquilla” and – most recently — the Autopista Conexion Norte, which links the northern Antioquian towns of Remedios, Zaragoza and and Caucasia with the “Ruta del Sol” highway all the way to the port of Cartagena on the Atlantic coast.

“Four of the five ‘4G’ highway concessions that have assured finance for construction and maintenance can count upon COP$1.2 trillion from Bancolombia, which involves the participation of Fiduciaria Bancolombia,” according to the bank.

The 145-kilometers-long “Autopista Conexion Norte” requires COP$1.13 trillion (US$364 million) in total fianance, of which Bancolombia is putting-up COP$200 billion (US$64 million), according to the company.

“We are prepared to commit a great part of our capacity [to ‘4G’ projects] as a financial group that serves Colombians, so that future generations with live in a more prosperous country,” said Bancolombia vice-president Gonzalo Toro. “The 4G highways will boost foreign commerce, reducing the costs of transport,” he added.

The Autopista Conexion Norte project is expected to benefit more than 250,000 people and 44,000 homes in the northern Antioquia region including Caucasia, El Bagre, Remedios, Segovia and Zaragoza, while generating some 6,800 new jobs, Bancolombia estimated.

Cuts Colombia Economic Forecast

Meanwhile, Bancolombia announced July 27 that it has cut its Colombia economic growth forecast to 2.4% for 2016, down from an earlier 2.7% growth outlook. As for inflation, Bancolombia now foresees a 6.5% rate for all of 2016, up from a prior forecast.

As for the Colombian peso/U.S. dollar exchange rate foreseen for year-end 2016, Bancolombia has trimmed its forecast to COP$3,100/US$1, down from COP$3,250/US$1 foreseen earlier this year. 

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