15 de octubre de 2014 / 14:23 / en 3 años

Colombia's Banco de Bogota to issue $731.8 million in shares

BOGOTA, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Banco de Bogota, Colombia’s second-largest bank by assets, said it would issue 1.5 trillion pesos ($731.8 million) of ordinary shares once it gets regulatory approval.

The stock offer will be made to preferential shareholders, the bank said in a statement late on Tuesday. Banco de Bogota is part of Grupo Aval, owned by Colombian billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento.

The bank did not say how it would use the funds.

The announcement comes weeks after Grupo Aval sold $1.27 billion of American Depositary Receipts on Wall Street to bolster the working capital of its local banks.

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.

Analysts said the group might be raising funds to make overseas purchases in Latin America. In an interview with Reuters on Sept. 23, Sarmiento said he had no immediate overseas expansion plans but was attentive to new opportunities.

On Tuesday, Citigroup Inc said it would sell its consumer banking businesses in 11 countries, including six in Latin America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.

1 dollar = 2,049.66 pesos Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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