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Colombia’s Transport Ministry and its Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) infrastructure agency announced December 20 that they've granted a conditional 30-year concession license to the developers of the proposed “Puerto Pisisi” Atlantic freight port at Turbo, Antioquia.

According to ANI, the initial investment would total US$133 million, and when completed the port eventually would handle 1.7 million tons/year of general cargo, containers, solid and liquid bulk materials, vehicles and hydrocarbons.

“Puerto Pisisí is expected to become one of the most representative ports in the Gulf of Urabá, as it is a maritime zone that offers geostrategic conditions for the movement of cargo towards the center of the country,” according to ANI.

“This port is part of the strategy of connecting the country with the world and is complemented by the program of projects of the 4G [fourth-generation] highways that are being executed in Antioquia,” added ANI president Louis Kleyn.

The conditional license requires the Pisisi port developers to sign a construction contract within one year, upon which it could start finalizing its investment plan.

“This terminal expects to mobilize more than 300,000 tons for the first year of operation, until reaching about 1.7 million tons by year 30,” according to ANI.


Medellin-based international electric-power transmission and highway concessions giant ISA announced December 19 an “alliance” deal with Medellin-based construction giant Construcciones El Condor for highway deals in Colombia and Peru.

According to the new partners, ISA will have a controlling 51% stake in the alliance.

“ISA is taking quick steps to materialize the ‘ISA 2030 strategy’ that was recently made public, in which emphasis on the road business is focused on consolidating its business in Chile, where it is currently a leading player, and on exploration of new markets in Colombia and Peru,” according to the company.

“ISA brings its extensive experience as an operator in Chile, where it currently leads the segment of interurban highways, its financial muscle and its leadership as a ‘multilatina’ [company]; while Construcciones El Cóndor S.A, brings its recognized experience in construction, concession management and road infrastructure projects.”

Besides opening doors to public tenders for road concessions in Colombia and Peru, the alliance also “opens the possibility of executing a joint strategy of evaluation, participation and acquisition of concessions,” according to ISA.

In Colombia, several “fourth generation” (4G) highways are nearing completion, so new contracts to maintain and operate these highways are soon to be put up for bid, the company noted.

Luz María Correa Vargas, president of Construcciones El Cóndor, added that “we are a relevant player in Colombia with nearly 40 years in the market. We have great strengths in the management of concession contracts, especially in the structuring of offers, and in the design, construction and engineering of road concessions.

“Our goal is to continue growing and for this, the support of a solid and recognized company like ISA is key. We find that we have an affinity of interests and that we complement each other to be leaders,” she said.

Constructora Conconcreto Loan Syndication

On a related front, Medellin-based Constructora Conconcreto announced December 19 that it just won a syndicated loan agreement with Colombia banking giants Bancolombia, Banco Davivienda, Banco de Bogota, Itaú Corpbanca Colombia, Banco Popular, Banco de Occidente, Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia, BBVA Colombia and Commercial Bank AV Villas.

“The support and vote of confidence of all the banks that participated in this process for Constructora Conconcreto S.A. is undoubtedly a favorable symptom for the construction sector in our country,” according to Conconcreto.

“This contract allows the company to re-profile its financial debt at a value of COP$639.8 billion [US$198 million], a loan whose maturity date will be December 31, 2023.

“Thanks to these new conditions, Constructora Conconcreto S.A. it is able to continue with the fulfillment of the investment plan required in strategic projects, which reaffirm the sustainability of the company in the long term and contribute to the national infrastructure, such as:

“• Via 40 Express, one of the most important concessions in the country, since it is the most important commercial artery in Colombia, connecting the Sabana de Bogotá with the Port of Buenaventura.
“• Consortium Vial Helios, which will complete the execution of Section 1 of Ruta del Sol, corresponding to the sector between Villeta and Puerto Salgar.
“• The continuation of 21 housing projects, which represent more than COP$760 billion [US235 million] in revenues for the company, which are located in the main cities of the country.”

The new credit agreement is backed by Conconcreto’s COP$540 billion (US$167 million) equity in the “Pactia” real-estate private equity fund; other real estate valued at COP$58.3 billion (U$$18 million); and a fiduciary-rights security interest agreement in the Malachí Trust, whose underlying asset is a property worth COP$80 billion (US$24.7 million), according to the company.


The ever-worsening economic and social crisis in Venezuela -- caused by the criminal Castro-Chavista narco-communist dictatorship -- is now likely…

Medellin-based credit union Cooperativa Financiera de Antioquia (CFA) revealed this month in a filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera regulatory agency that it won a favorable AA rating for long-term debt from Bogota-based debt rater Value & Risk Rating (VRR).

CFA also won a favorable “VrR1” rating from VRR for short-term debt risk, according to the filing.

The filing, posted by the Superintendencia on December 10, shows that CFA’s net income through August 2018 rose to COP$4.77 billion (US$1.5 million), up from COP$3.99 billion (US$1.26 million) for the same period in 2017.

“The AA rating indicates a high capacity to pay interest and return capital, with a limited incremental risk compared to other entities or rated issues with the highest category,” according to VVR.

“On the other hand, the rating VrR1 corresponds to the highest category in investment grade, which indicates that the entity [CFA] enjoys a high probability in the payment of the obligations in the agreed terms and terms. The liquidity of the institution and the protection for third parties is good. Additionally, the ability to pay will not be affected by changes in the sector or the economy,” VVR added.

Among credit unions, CFA, founded in the year 2000, is ranked fourth by level of assets among the five financial cooperatives of Colombia, VVR noted.

The company mainly caters to lower-income and middle-income clients (strata 1, 2 and 3 in Colombia’s system of income rankings) and has most of its business here in Antioquia.

CFA has 10 main offices, 498 employees, and 68 correspondent offices in seven Colombian departments (states), and continues to expand throughout Colombia.

In total, 85% of the loan portfolio typically goes to salaried employees, commerce, transport and agriculture, according to the filing. The top-20 loan clients represented just 4.27% of the total portfolio, the filing shows.

During 2019, CFA plans to start-up the second phase of its cell-phone-based “Mobile channel,” which seeks to expand the transactional portfolio; complete the modernization and optimization of its “virtual office” platform; and continue with the development of its “Networks” project, according to the filing.


Medellin-based textile manufacturing giant Coltejer revealed in a November 22 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera regulatory agency that it has hired a consultant to develop a financial restructuring plan in order to pay liabilities.

According to the filing, the company also seeks a credit worth COP$12 billion (US$3.7 million) to buy cotton feedstocks for its manufacturing plants here.

The company, whose majority shareholder is Mexico-based textile multinational Kaltex, revealed earlier this month that it posted a net loss of COP$19 billion (US$5.88 million) for third quarter (3Q) 2018, compared to a net loss of COP$7 billion (US$2.2 million) in 3Q 2017.

For the first nine months of 2018, Coltejer has posted a net loss of COP$32.7 billion (US$10 million) versus a net loss of COP$27 billion (US$8.3 million) in nine-months 2017.

The company employs 1,245 workers at two plants in the Medellin suburbs, one at Itagui and the other in Rionegro.

Textile makers in Colombia for years have been hit hard by below-cost Asian imports including contraband, resulting in heavy financial losses.


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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.

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