SPOTLIGHT: Colombia's leading lenders

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Grupo Aval, Colombia's largest banking conglomerate, managed to hold onto its portion of the loan market again in February, as the group and its closest competitor, Bancolombia, maintained their respective market shares of 36.8% and 35.6% for the second month.

Colombia's domestic bank lending grew 1.10% month-on-month in February after falling 4.88% from December 2016 to January 2017. Domestic banks saw lending rise 12.84% year-on-year in February, according to the latest data from banking regulator Superfinanciera.

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Grupo Aval saw a negative surprise in profits for 4Q16, and research firm CrediCorp Capital suggested the group could fall out of the top 20 stocks traded on the COLCAP index later this year.

"According to our calculations [for the COLCAP], Grupo Aval could exit the index in the next recalculation of the index if the current trend in activity continues," said Credicorp in a note to investors, adding that this would not occur with the April 28 reformulation of the index, but the next iteration on October 17.

Bancolombia, the nation's single largest bank, has increased its market share significantly from the 32.7% seen in February 2016. The bank saw a 22.7% year-on-year hike in lending in February.

By contrast, Grupo Aval's four banks - Banco de Bogotá (Colombia's second largest bank), Banco Popular, Banco Occidente and Banco AV Villas - collectively gained only 5.71% from the previous year. Aval's Colombian banks held 39.32% of the market in February 2016.

Grupo Aval also includes BAC, a conglomerate with operations in Central America.

Foreign banks operating in Colombia saw a 4.44% year-on-year increase in lending in February. BBVA, which is the foreign bank with the largest local presence, grew 4.96% year-on-year. While holding smaller market shares, lending growth standouts among the foreign banks include Santander (up 23.2% year-on-year), Falabella (+16.47%) and Multibank (+12.31%).

Colombia Loan Expansion Feb 2017

(SOURCE: Superfinanciera.)