Colombia Business News Recap: Tax Reform Passes, Tecnoglass Success, More EPM Chaos, Medellín’s Mayor McMeat!
In this week’s Colombia business news recap:
- Tecnoglass continues to break records
- EPM postpones the bid process to finish Hidroituango for the fifth time
- Mayor McMeat and the cattle ranchers
- Emerging new restaurants
- Tax Reform has passed
I am really looking forward to the upcoming CGS 2022 mining conference coming up this week, organized by Paul Harris. I will be presenting on the investment panorama for mining technology. Also Wednesday, elsewhere in Medellín there is a breakfast where Sergio Guzmán of Colombia Risk Analysis will provide an update on President Gustavo Petro’s first 100 days.
Next week I am looking forward to the Oil & Gas summit in Bogotá the 15th through 18th of November.
First some good news. Tecnoglass. A sponsor of this podcast, and of Finance Colombia, but facts are facts. $201.8 million in revenue…that’s dollars, not pesos. $46.9 million dollars quarterly net income, more than double last year’s quarter. Tecnoglass’ ticker symbol is TGLS and last year moved from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange. The company is doing great things for its shareholders, for its employees, and for Colombia’s Atlantic coast.
Medellín and Bogotá tend to get all the attention, but Tecnoglass is a lighthouse a “faro” in Spanish, for the city of Barranquilla and Colombia’s entire Caribbean region.
Now, back in Medellín, Mayor Daniel Quintero-controlled EPM has postponed for the FIFTH TIME the public RFP for finishing the second half of the Hidroituango hydroelectric turbine installation project.
It’s a mess. Quintero has made enemies of the consortium, CCCI, that started the project, the labor union says he is trying to replace local contractors with Chinese firms, now President Gustavo Petro has warned that testing the turbines may risk downstream lives and has called for an evacuation, and EPM now admits that insurers don’t want to touch the second half of this project, after over a billion dollars in claims have already been paid on the project, so Quintero wanted to blow up the project and run off CCCI, now it is su própio chicharron, as they say in Spanish. It’s his crunchy mess!
Speaking of delicious chicharrones, crunchy messes, and Daniel Quintero, the head of Colombia’s cattle rancher’s federation, FEDEGAN, José Félix Lafaurie has denounced the revolutionary mayor for using the city to launch an anti-beef campaign, right in the heart of Antioquia, which is Colombia’s cattle heartland.
Now we see the mayor slicing into a side of beef, Brazilian Rodizo style, while he is telling everyone else to abstain. Now, Quintero’s favorite thing is to call everyone who opposes him a tool of former President Alvaro Uribe. Yes, the head of Fedegan’s wife is Maria Fernanda Cabál, who is more Uribista than Uribe himself…but could it be Quintero himself who is being a hypocrite?
What’s almost as bad as being a hypocrite? Being henpecked perhaps? In an interview with BLU radio, the mayor’s wife, a vegetarian activist, came out as being behind the campaign. She says she doesn’t allow red meat in her house, but that the mayor may have cravings that he takes care of in restaurants. She says “You can’t become the annoying radical…” but FEDEGAN seems to think that’s exactly what she has become.
The mayor’s wife on BLU Radio (Spanish):
Now in my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian, but there is nothing wrong with eating beef, either.
Speaking of beef…While we wait on the William Reed Organization that publishes the global 50 best restaurants lists, including Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, we have the results for restaurants 50 to 100.
Leo and El Cielo are not on the list, which I take as reassuring, meaning that they are still in the top 50. I am really curious to see what other Colombian restaurants, if any, have made it. The top 50 list is released next week on November 15th.
Colombian restaurants on the 51 to 100 list include
- Prudencia in Bogotá
- Humo Negro in Bogotá
- X.O. in Medellín
- Harry Sasson in Bogotá
- Salvo Patria in Bogotá
I have been to Harry Sassón in Bogotá, and not only is it great, but it is a great value for a high-end restaurant. I can personally recommend it.
As for the rest? Well I am willing to sacrifice on behalf of you dear listener, and try them out. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
I will get started as soon as I get back from the Rum Renaissance international rum congress this Saturday and Sunday in Miami. If you will also be there, look me up! Otherwise, I hope to see you the end of the month back in Miami at the Bonds & Loans Latin American & The Caribbean event in Coconut Grove. Be sure to use discount code FC20 when you register!
Colombia’s congress passed President Petro’s tax reform act last week, which appears to hit the petroleum and coal mining sectors hard, as well as lowering the income tax floor to make more people liable for income tax in Colombia. The rate is still well above the average income for Colombian wage earners. The tax reform also adds VAT (Value Added Tax) to quite a few new food items. You can read details here, on Finance Colombia.
Don’t forget about Tecnoedificios and Cleantec show November 22 and 23 in Medellín at the Hotel Intercontinental. You can find details for this and every other event we have mentioned at financecolombia.com
Until then, be kind, be tolerant, and just as importantly, don’t be annoying!