Banks to lend $11 bn to MSMEs to boost economic recovery

The national association of banks in Colombia (Asobancaria) launched yesterday 'Colombia Se Activa' economic recovery plan. It is a multi-bank alliance to provide financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Under this plan, Asobancaria expects disbursements passed to small and medium-sized companies and their portfolio to grow by 8% and 7.3% this year.

Renewable energy projects to benefit local municipalities

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia issued several regulations on electricity royalties from non-conventional renewable projects. Generation plants with a total installed power capacity higher than 10,000 KW will transfer 1% of their gross energy sales to local municipalities. For projects with a capacity larger than 20% of the average national generation capacity, the transfer rate will be 2%. In detail, 40% of the value will go to municipal governments and the other 60% to local ethnic communities. Yet, the government is expected to provide further information on the latter.

Gradual tax on coal and gas

The tax bill proposal contemplates a gradual carbon tax on coal and natural gas in Colombia. It starts with a grace period valid until 2024. After that year, a 20% tax will take place and will increase by 20 percentage points yearly until the proposed tax rate is fully applied in 2027. According to the minister of energy, Diego Mesa, this gradualness allows thermal agents to incorporate clean technologies to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Pension funds reach $13.1 bn

Between January and March 2021, private pension returns decreased by $275 million (Co$ $ 1 trillion) compared to the same period last year. According to the national association of pension and severance fund administrators (Asofondos), the current value of private pension assets is $13.1 billion (Co$ 47.8 trillion) and pension savings $87 billion (Co$ 317.9 … Continue reading Pension funds reach $13.1 bn

FDI falls by 42.1%, Central Bank

In the first quarter of 2021, inward foreign direct investment in Colombia totalled $ 1. 6 billion, while in the same period last year, it was $ 2.85 billion, revealed the Colombian central bank. The oil, hydrocarbons and mining sector continues to attract most of the investment. This year so far, it amounts to $ 1. 14 billion. Conversely, the central bank reported an increase in outward investment in the same time, from $713 million to $ 1.07 billion.

Colombian government rejects giants Coca-Cola and Bavaria merger proposal

The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) of Colombia rejected the integration proposal between two of the largest companies in the local beverage industry: Bavaria and Coca-Cola. In 2019, both companies reported almost $2 billion (Co$ 7.1 trillion) in sales. In the proposal, the companies sought to create an exclusive alliance to jointly distribute their products and supplies. According to the SIC, this merger would limit the consumers' decision-making and create entry barriers to other companies.

Colombia pledges to half GHG emissions by 2050

In the ongoing 2021 Climate Summit, Colombia's president Ivan Duque reaffirmed the goal to reduce by 51% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To do so, Colombia will invest, among other strategies, in cleaner urban and freight transport policies. Mr Duque also encouraged other global leaders to sign this new environment protection agreement, which has been signed by 84 countries so far.

Natural gas consumption up by 0.8%

Between April 12-18, natural gas consumption increased by 0,8% compared to the previous week, informed the Colombian Mercantile Exchange (BMC). The thermic and industrial sectors increased their gas demand by 4,5% and 3,1%, while household consumption remained the same.

New 15-year purchase agreements of renewables in October 2021

Colombia’s next renewable energy auction will be held no later than October 31, 2021, the Colombian ministry of mines and energy said in a new resolution. The auction will award 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to projects of 5 MW and above, which will have to start delivering the contracted electricity as of December 1, 2022. The current 2,085 MW, capacity falls short of the country’s 2017-2031 plan for the generation and transmission expansion, the ministry said.