Colombia Finance Minister confirms new 2021 tax reform to mobilize additional $5.7 bn in revenue

The Minister of Finance, Alberto Carrasquilla, confirmed that the Government will present its tax reform proposal before the end of the first quarter of next year, at the end of March 2021. Carrasquilla explained that one of the challenges of the reform is to increase tax collection to cover about 2 percentage points of the Gross Domestic Product of additional spending, a figure that represents an average of $5.7 billion.

Added-value of construction sector in Colombia contracts by 26%

According to a recent Dane report, Civil Works Investment registered a decrease of 25.1% between July and September in relation to the same period of 2019. Data related to the construction sector reflected that, although there has been a recovery, the sector continues in the red, since in the quarter there was a 26.2% decrease in the added value of the sector, mainly explained by the negative annual variation in the added value of the buildings (-27.2%), specialized activities (-26.4%) and civil works (-24.7%).

64% of Colombians do not earn more than one $280 / month minimum wage

The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane) revealed that, between January and October of this year, 63.8% of Colombians did not earn more than one minimum wage and 48.6% have incomes below the minimum, which for 2019 is set at $280 dollars. According to Dane, the number of Colombians who do not earn more than one minimum wage has been increasing over the years, since in 2017 it was 58% of the population, in 2018 it was 56.6% and in 2019 it climbed to 60, 8%.

Moody’s affirms ratings of Colombian banks; outlook negative on Bancolombia, Banco de Bogota and Davivienda

Moody's Investors Service affirmed Bancolombia, Banco de Bogota, and Banco Davivienda long-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings as well as the long-term foreign currency senior unsecured debt ratings, following the affirmation of their respective baseline credit assessments (BCAs). At the same time, Moody's changed to negative, from stable, the outlook on Bancolombia's ratings, while it maintained the negative rating outlook on Banco de Bogota and Davivienda. These actions follow the change in outlook to negative, from stable, on Government of Colombia's Baa2 government bond rating, on 3 December 2020. Moody's also affirmed the ratings assigned to Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores S.A. and Grupo Aval Limited, the outlook remains negative.

UN emergency fund releases $5 mn for humanitarian response in Colombia

United Nations Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock, announced the allocation of $5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable communities in Colombia. The funds will help to respond to priority humanitarian needs emerging from the impact of COVID-19, ongoing violence and protection challenges identified in the departments of Chocó, Nariño and Amazonas.

Colombian coffee production drops 4% in November

Colombia's coffee production fell 4% YoY in November to 1.44 million 60-kilo bags, due to less commercialization amid sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the National Federation of Coffee Growers reported on Monday. However, coffee exports from the country, the world's leading producer of washed arabica, rose 9% to 1.27 million bags. Between January and November the harvest accumulated a 7% drop to 12.1 million bags, while in the last 12 months it fell 4% to 13.8 million bags, the federation said in a statement.