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BOGOTA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Colombia's Banco de Bogota, the country's second-largest bank by assets, launched a stock offer of 1.5 trillion pesos ($713.2 million) in ordinary shares on the local market on Wednesday.
The bank established a price of 63,000 pesos ($29.95) per share for the issue, below Tuesday's closing price of 67,200 pesos ($31.95), the bank said in a statement.
Funds raised from the offer will be used for acquisitions and to strengthen its banks, said the company, which is part of Colombian billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento's Grupo Aval .
The offer is directed at preferred shareholders, the statement said.
Apart from Banco de Bogota, Grupo Aval also owns Banco Popular, Banco de Occidente, Banco AV Villas, financial entity Corficolombiana and pension fund Porvenir. With these, Sarmiento controls about a third of Colombia's banking assets.
The offer comes two months after Grupo Aval raised $1.26 billion, more than expected, from its initial public offering on Wall Street.
In January, the company raised 2.4 trillion pesos ($1.17 billion) in an ordinary share offer on the local market. The funds were used to capitalize acquisitions made the previous year.
Analysts said the group might be raising funds to make overseas purchases in Latin America. In an interview with Reuters in September, Sarmiento said he had no immediate overseas expansion plans but was attentive to new opportunities.
$1 = 2,103.12 Colombian pesos Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Nick Zieminski