Yepes Says Bancolombia Is Prepared for New Credit Curbs

Bancolombia SA (BCOLO), Colombia’s largest bank by market capitalization, is prepared to adjust its strategy if the government introduces more measures to curb credit growth, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Yepes said.

Colombia moved to slow the pace of consumer credit growth last month by increasing provision requirements for lenders that have seen a rise in bad loans. Consumer lending grew 22 percent in March, according to the central bank. Credit measures are already slowing consumer loan growth, Yepes said in an interview in Cartagena.

“We have to wait and see, there may be other” measures, Yepes said.

Bancolombia said May 28 its board approved a plan to sell 3 trillion pesos ($1.7 billion) of peso-denominated debt. The bonds can be sold in Colombia in one or several offerings, the bank said.

“There are a lot of opportunities and this economy is growing,” said Yepes. “We’re not buying anything right now. If we issue bonds it’s to fund growth in lending.”

Bancolombia is not interested in buying Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA)’s pension assets, Yepes said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at ajaramillo1@bloomberg.net; Matthew Bristow in Brasilia at mbristow5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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