Colombian Stock Exchange Favors Having Brazil in Integration

Colombia’s stock exchange informally discussed selling a stake to its Brazilian counterpart as part of a move toward an integrated regional market.

Juan Pablo Cordoba, president of Bolsa de Valores de Colombia, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s offices in New York that the Brazilian exchange would prefer a process leading to a board position but that no formal conversations have been held. BM&FBovespa SA, operator of the largest securities exchange in Latin America, said last year that it was seeking to buy stakes in bourses throughout the region.

“Should they do something in Colombia, they want to do something that’s an agreed-upon process of conversation and road map and strategy,” Cordoba said Thursday. “We’d be delighted if that materializes.”

BM&FBovespa’s press office declined to comment on any talks. The Brazilian exchange operator gained 1.1 percent to 12.31 reais at 4 p.m. in Sao Paulo, while Bolsa de Valores de Colombia rose 2.1 percent to 19.80 pesos in Bogota.

Brazil should be part of a regional capital market that goes further than the Latin American Integrated Market, Cordoba said. That alliance, known as MILA, allows investors to trade stocks from Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia over a single platform. Discussions between MILA members to broaden integration in Latin America began in January, he said.

‘Far Away’

“Brazil has not formally been part of that conversation, but if we want to do something significant for Latin America, we cannot ignore Brazil,” Cordoba said. “For most of our companies, the New York market or the London market is very far away, so we definitely need a solution for medium and large companies in the region for access to capital markets.”

BM&FBovespa Chief Product Officer Eduardo Guardia said in a meeting with analysts in February that the securities exchange was seeking acquisitions in Latin America as part of a process of financial integration.

The company said last year it was seeking to buy as much as 15 percent each in the exchanges of Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina. Last month, it acquired a 2 percent stake in Chile’s Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago.

Chile, Colombia and Peru began trading through the MILA network in 2011, giving brokerages in each nation access to equities listed on the other countries’ exchanges. The first transaction by a Mexican broker on the network was in December.

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