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Bancolombia came into its own in 2004, posting $241 million in profits, or a return on equity of 30%. Its return on assets of 3.57% is also best in class. The Colombian banking market is ripe for consolidation, however, and a combination of Banco de Bogotá with Banco de Occidente could be formidable.

Indeed, the banking consolidation did get a small boost in March this year, when Lloyds TSB sold its Colombian operations to Panama's Banistmo.

JPMorgan advised Lloyds in the deal, and was also involved in the Colombian end of by far the biggest Colombian M&A deal of the year – the $310 million sale of Coltabaco to Philip Morris.

The debt house of the year is Citigroup, which helped Colombia win Euromoney's Latin sovereign borrower of the year award with a couple of ground-breaking local-currency deals sold to foreign investors.

Citigroup also placed bonds locally, as in the case of a $95 million deal for Comcel, and issued corporate bonds internationally, with a $175 million dual-tranche deal for brewer Bavaria. It even arranged a $78 million local-currency acquisition finance facility for Colombia Móvil to help it buy telecommunications equipment from Siemens.

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