Bonds, Loans & Derivatives Andes 2017 Brings Nearly 400 Executives and Officials to Bogotá to Discuss Regional Finance Trends
Last month, Bogotá played host to the finance conference “Bonds, Loans & Derivatives Andes 2017,” welcoming nearly 400 high-level executives, directors, and public officials for two days to discuss the complexities facing the region.
Photo: Luis Fernando Andrade Moreno, President of the National Infrastructure Agency. (Credit: GFC Media Group)
Organized by the GFC Media Group, the event featured speakers from countries including Colombia, Peru, and Chile, with Luis Fernando Andrade Moreno, president of Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), presenting the keynote address.
Andrade focused on Colombia’s ambitious “4G” (or Fourth Generation) mega-project that aims to modernize the nation’s highways with tens of billions of dollars worth of investment in the coming years. The initiative is being driven by public/private partnerships, and many global firms have been bidding to win the work.
He told the organizers that the government hopes to award at least six more projects during 2017, potentially for as much as $3 billion USD. One major hurdle, however, has been the Odebrecht scandal that has swept the region and left a cloud over all infrastructure financing in the Andean nation.
“We have several bidding processes either underway or about to launch,” said the president in an interview before the conference. “There are no signs that these will fail. We are seeing sustained interest. We are finishing this first quarter in the process of resolving the fallout from the Odebrecht case, so obtaining financing in the next two months is likely to be challenging.”
The government has also been working hard to wind down two projects — part of the Ruta del Sol highway construction and the Magdalena River dredging and modernization work — that were previously awarded to Odebrecht but have since been cancelled. Colombia does not want its public sector to end up operating the projects, so earlier this year it undertook the process of looking for a new partner.
“The strategy of the government is to try and dissolve these contracts quickly and diffuse any uncertainty,” said Andrade. “In doing so, we are also setting a precedent on how future problems of this nature will be handled. If we manage this properly, anxieties will subside.”
Also at Bonds, Loans & Derivatives Andes 2017, Juan Jose Echavarría of Colombia’s central bank discussed the bank’s strategies towards inflation, monetary policy, and interest rates.
He was followed by José Olivares of Peru’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, who gave a speech centered on Peru’s strategies to finance GDP growth and infrastructure investments.
In addition to the topics of the day, many on hand took the time to praise a conference where 58% of attendees were borrowers, corporate issuers, and government officials. “This event has become the standard in regards to the interaction between surplus and deficit agents in the Andean region, capital markets, and financing alternatives,” said Olivares.
Other sessions focused on the trajectory of the Andean economies over the next 12 months, national debt capital markets, and financing structure opportunities in Colombia. A panel covering green bonds, moderated by Finance Colombia Executive Editor Loren Moss, also featured expert commentary from attendees representing Moody’s, the International Finance Corporation, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), and Banca de Inversion de Bancolombia
After the conference concluded, Alex Johnson, chief executive officer of GFC Media Group, reported that more than 100 face-to-face meetings took place over two days as well, “firmly establishing this event as a must-attend for anyone wanting to meet and do business with the region’s senior-level market makers.”