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Colombia: S&P upgrade confirms sovereign’s rise

Reflects long-standing de facto situation; Not expected to change investor base

Colombia’s finance minister Juan Carlos Echeverry

Juan Carlos Echeverry: upgrade is a vote of confidence in Colombia

Colombia’s finance minister responded to Standard & Poor’s decision to upgrade the country’s credit rating to investment grade by saying that the country would deal actively with any "excessive wave" of dollar inflows.

Juan Carlos Echeverry told local media that the rating upgrade was a vote of confidence in the country, which joins Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru as investment grade, but that "I would expect we have sufficient instruments to guarantee stability", suggesting the government is braced for fresh international funds heating the economy and exchange rate.

However, Carlos Lopez, a director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Latin American debt capital markets group, thinks the news is more important to the rating agency than to the country. "Since Colombia is trading as an investment-grade country already, it’s going to help S&P be more active in the country – overall what we expect is more issuers will use S&P because they won’t be constrained as much as before by this rating agency’s country ceiling.

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