Colombia

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Colombia's fiscal rule committee said on Tuesday the country's finances are still not in order despite upticks in predicted tax revenue, and there is risk of an eventual increase in debt and spending, Reuters reported. The expert Autonomous Fiscal Rule Committee (CARF), charged with evaluating public finances, added in a statement there should be a change in the country's accounting to include fuel subsidy deficit.
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Colombia's economy could have grown by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2022 versus the year-earlier period, mainly boosted by domestic consumption, though this will begin to moderate amid inflationary pressures, a Reuters poll revealed on Friday. Estimates from 13 analysts for economic growth fluctuated between 6% and 8.30% in the three months ended March 31. If growth is in line with the poll's median forecast of 7.5%, Latin America's fourth-largest economy will have expanded at a slower rate than in the prior quarter ending Dec. 31, when growth hit 10.8%.
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Colombia swapped internal public debt worth 2.6 trillion pesos ($641 million) in April, the second such operation this year and part of an effort to reduce amortizations and improve the country's debt profile, its finance ministry said on Thursday, Reuters reported. In the latest operation, the ministry traded TES securities coming due in 2023 for others tied to inflation which come due in 2035 and 2037 and peso-denominated paper coming due in 2042.
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Colombian presidential candidate Federico “Fico” Gutierrez, the main challenger to leftist Gustavo Petro, is planning a tax reform to gradually increase revenue over 10 years, according to one of his top advisers, Bloomberg News reported. That will help fund an ambitious plan to boost growth, tackle infrastructure bottlenecks and build a million homes for low-income families, but without running up unsustainable debts that would scare off investors, said Manuel Fernando Castro, who is helping formulate the candidate’s economic program.
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Colombia’s economy blew away forecasts as it grew at the fastest pace in more than a century last year, driven by a rebound in consumer demand after pandemic curbs were eased, and soaring prices for the nation’s oil, coal and coffee, Bloomberg News reported. Gross domestic product expanded 10.6% in 2021, the nation’s statistics agency said Tuesday. That’s the fastest pace since at least 1906, according to data compiled by the central bank. GDP grew 10.8% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, surprising all 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg whose median forecast was for growth of 9.3%.
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Colombia launched a series of measures seeking to curb the fastest inflation in five years, largely from increases in food prices, the nation’s finance minister said, Bloomberg News reported. Minister Jose Manuel Restrepo announced a package of measures after inflation accelerated in January, more than doubling its 3% target. Restrepo spoke on Sunday alongside the agriculture and transport ministers, among other high-level officials, after a meeting with President Ivan Duque, according to a video from the administration.
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Avianca, one of Latin America’s largest airlines, is emerging from bankruptcy protection after winning court approval for its reorganization plan a year and a half after the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the region’s air carriers, Bloomberg News reported. Avianca, which is headquartered in Bogota, said it is exiting the restructuring process after raising fresh investments of $1.7 billion. It also comes out of bankruptcy with “significantly” reduced debt and more than $1 billion of liquidity, the company said in a regulatory filing.
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The Southern District of New York has approved Colombian airliner Avianca's reorganization plan, Avianca said on Tuesday, which will allow the company to complete its chapter 11 bankruptcy process before the end of the year, Reuters reported. Avianca, along with rival Chile's LATAM Airlines, were the two largest carriers in the region before the coronavirus pandemic, but both were sent into bankruptcy restructuring when the virus upended air travel, amid especially strict restrictions in Latin America.

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Airline Avianca Holdings will move its domicile to the United Kingdom and its stock will no longer be traded on the Colombian stock exchange, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a U.S. court's approval of the company's restructuring plan, Reuters reported. Colombia's flag carrier had filed for chapter 11 protection at a U.S. court in New York in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. It now expects to exit the measure by the end 2021, after receiving around $2 billion in new financing under a debt-for-equity deal.
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Avianca Holdings SA asked a judge for permission to exit bankruptcy under a plan that the airline says will eliminate about $3 billion in debt and preserve over 10,000 jobs, Bloomberg News reported. Latin America’s second-largest airline before the pandemic presented its restructuring plan at a hearing in New York Tuesday. If approved, the 102-year-old company is eyeing an exit from bankruptcy this year. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn appeared to side with the company when a handful of objectors claimed the proposal wrongly favored some creditors over others.
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