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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Special Reports

Bancolombia Profits Despite Crisis

Colombia’s largest bank Bancolombia is facing the economic slowdown with a boost in profits, assets and deposits.
UPBEAT BANK: Jorge Londoño, president of Bancolombia (top); the bank's new headquarters in Medellin (middle) and basic service points known as PAC's (above). (Photos: Bancolombia)



MEDELLIN – Jorge Londoño, the Scottish-educated president of Banco de Colombia (Bancolombia), can be excused if he seems upbeat these days despite the growing global crisis and an economic slowdown in his home market.


Ten days ago, the bank announced that its unconsolidated net income for the first two months reached 233.2 billion pesos (US$91 million), a 107.7 percent increase from the same period last year. Loans in February alone grew by 18.3 percent to 26,693 billion pesos, assets increased by 22.2 percent to 494.3 billion pesos, while deposits expanded by 21.6 percent to 1,336.5 billion pesos.


Those results come after a solid 2008 when total income grew by 18 percent to 4,391 billion Colombian pesos (US$1.9 billion), while net income increased by 18.7 percent to 1,290 billion pesos. Loans grew by 17.3 percent to 42,508 billion pesos, assets grew by 18.5 percent to  61,783 billion pesos, while deposits grew by 17.5 percent to 40,384 billion pesos. However, in the fourth quarter, total income fell 0.5 percent, while net income decreased by 8.7 percent.


While bad loans have grown from 2 percent in 2007 to 3.5 percent last month, Londoño says the bank deliberately continues to offer loans and credits despite the...


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Keywords: BBVA, El Salvador, IDB, Panama


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