Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bancolombia is a proxy for growth in Colombia

The demographics, geopolitical, and internal political trends of Colombia are very favorable. Thus I am looking to invest in Bancolombia as a proxy for capturing growth in that country. That said, there is a stock market crisis on the horizon and I believe everything will be on sale when the market panics.

The author is entering an order to buy Bancolombia at $43/share.

The following article quote sums up the opportunity.

Bancolombia gets a lot of Kuczma's attention. The 945-branch, $42 billion-in-assets bank has a leading 21% share of Colombia's loan market, and its stock, at 65, is up nearly 5% so far this year. It also sports a 2.2% dividend yield.

The shares have benefited from improving investor attitudes toward Colombia. In March, Standard & Poor's restored the investment-grade rating of Colombia's sovereign debt, removed in 1999 as the country descended into chaos caused by leftist guerrillas. A decade and $7 billion later—mostly in military aid from the U.S.—the government's stronger hand and the global commodities boom have given the economy new life. Bancolombia's Medellin home might still conjure images of drug-dealing mayhem stirred by the notorious Pablo Escobar, but he died 18 years ago. Although violence hasn't disappeared, murders and kidnappings are down 90% from their peak a decade ago.

For years a pariah, Colombia now attracts a flood of international tourists and foreign direct investment, which at $7 billion through June, was up almost 80% on the year. Oil production is expected to reach one million barrels per day by year end, putting Colombia in the major leagues of global crude producers. The country is also enjoying a windfall from record coffee prices. Less known is that Colombia has become the world's fourth-largest coal exporter.