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Bancolombia Shareholders Approve $2.4 Billion Share Sale

Shareholders of Bancolombia SA, Colombia’s largest bank, approved a sale of as much as $2.4 billion worth of preferred shares to help finance expansion plans and comply with new global banking regulations.

Shareholders at a meeting in Medellin today voted to allow the sale of as many as 148.2 million of preferred shares, which could be issued in multiple offerings. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Yepes said the sale isn’t imminent.

Bancolombia’s plan is “not to sell shares in the near future,” Yepes said. “This is an approval for our financial planning foreseeing future growth.”

Bancolombia last month agreed to pay $2.1 billion for HSBC Holdings Plc’s Panama unit in its biggest-ever acquisition. Yepes said the bank was considering a share sale ahead of the implementation of Basel III capital rules and to fund its expansion plans.

Profit fell 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter to 468 billion pesos ($259 million), according to a regulatory filing today.

Preferred shares fell 0.4 percent to 28,880 pesos at 11:39 a.m. in Bogota. The share sale would represent up to 4.3 trillion pesos at that price.

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