Colombia’s congress approves $81.7 bn budget for 2021

Colombia’s congress gave final approval to a $81.7 billion "recovery" budget for 2021, the largest in Colombia’s history - 8.3% higher than 2020s. Investment will rise 35.7% to $15 billion in 2021. Just under $19 billion will go toward debt payments, a leap of 31.5% from this year’s spending. The budget is predicated on an economic growth target of 6.6% for 2021, compared with a forecast contraction of 5.5% in 2020 after more than five months of coronavirus quarantine closed businesses and sent unemployment soaring.

Metro de Bogotá Company signs start of works for $3,591 mn first line

The Colombian Empresa Metro de Bogotá (EMB) signed on Tuesday the act of beginning of works for the first line of the metro system for $ 3,591 million. The construction project of the first line was awarded in October last year to the Apca Transmimetro consortium, led by the Chinese companies Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. and Xi'an Metro Co. Ltd, which from now on will begin work in different areas. The Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank have committed resources for more than $1,500 million to finance the work in which the city of Bogotá will contribute 30% of the resources and the National Government the remaining 70%.

Colombia details $900 mn natural gas expansion plans

Unconventional and offshore discoveries could underpin a seven-fold increase in Colombia's gas supply over the next two decades, a new government report shows. Hydraulic fracturing projects would add 6.7 trillion cubic feet to available supply while offshore finds would contribute 3.9Tf3, according to the natural gas supply plan published by energy ministry planning unit UPME. The forecast considers a best-case scenario in which fracking initiatives begin production in 2021 and deepwater fields off the Caribbean coast would draw first oil in 2024. In its most optimistic outlook, new discoveries would add 23.7Tf3 of available gas between 2019 and 2040. Proved reserves currently stand at 3.2Tf3.

Chilean and Colombian Stock Exchanges agree to cross-listing

The Chilean and Colombian stock exchanges signed an agreement to allow the double listing of shares in both markets through a cross listing modality that will work under the foreign securities listing system. Institutional and individual investors will be able to acquire and sell shares listed on the markets of the two countries, through a national stock broker and under local rules. At the end of August, the market capitalization of the Chilean market reached $159,000 million and the Colombian $88,000 million, according to the Latin American Integrated Market, MILA.

Fenoco coal railings in Colombia hit multi-year low

The suspension of operations at Colombian miners Prodeco and Colombian Natural Resources cut coal railings on the Fenoco line to a multi-year low in September, as the producers ceased rail transit at the end of April and in mid-August, respectively. Fenoco railings fell by 2.3mn t on the year and by 413,600t on the month to 2.1mn t in September, according to figures from infrastructure agency ANI. This was the second-lowest level since Argus began tracking Fenoco railings in 2017.