Colombia interest rates

Colombia’s central bank has finally decided to take a breather.

After cutting rates for five consecutive months – including last month’s surprise 50bps cut – the bank decided on Friday to hold its benchmark rate at 3.25 per cent. Read more

After two sluggish quarters of growth, Colombia’s finance minister, Mauricio Cárdenas (pictured), is determined to reignite the economy – even if that means cornering banks to lower interest rates.

That’s understandable. After all, while the country’s central bank has been busy slashing interest rates since last July, the banks have not really been passing on the cuts. Read more

Colombia sure likes to keep the markets on their toes.

On Friday, the country cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth consecutive month. While previous cuts came in at 25bps increments, the central bank took out the axe this time around and chop rates by 50bps to 3.25 per cent – the lowest in Latin America. Read more

Here we go again: Colombia’s central bank cut the Andean country’s benchmark rate for a fourth straight month. Policymakers trimmed a quarter point to 3.75 per cent – the lowest in Latin America.

In the longest easing cycle in over four years, starting in July last year, the very orthodox Banco de la República has chopped 150 basis points off its overnight lending rate in an attempt to reignite a slowing economy. Read more

Last July, Colombia made its first rate cut since 2010. Since then, it has been on a chopping spree. On Monday, the Andean country’s central bank trimmed rates once again by a quarter point to 4 per cent.

So far the bank, with governor José Darío Uribe at the helm, has lowered interest rates at five of its last seven meetings. Now, it has reached the lowest level in Latin America. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

He’s been named Latin America’s central banker of the year (okay, by a trade publication) and re-appointed to be his institution’s general manager for a final four-year term in October. Analysts praise him for promoting growth while keeping inflation in check. Meet Colombia’s central bank chief, José Dario Uribe. Read more

After cutting interest rates for two consecutive months, Colombia’s central bank is taking a break. On Friday, the bank held its benchmark rate steady at 4.75 per cent and announced plans to expand its dollar purchasing programme in a bid to ease pressure on the peso. Read more

There is an adage in Spanish that goes: “Pain never lasts more than one hundred years.” At first sight, in any case, for the Colombian economy the pain seems to have lasted a quarter.

The recently-appointed finance minister, Mauricio Cárdenas, announced Thursday in Bogotá that Colombia’s gross domestic product grew 4.9 per cent in the second quarter, after expanding only 4.7 per cent in a rocky first quarter that was held back by weak growth of industry, oil output, and exports. Read more

It was quite a week for Colombia. It all started with an attack on one of Ecopetrol’s pipelines on Sunday, followed by President Juan Manuel Santos asking his whole cabinet to hand in resignations on Wednesday and the removal of finance minister Juan Carlos Echeverry on Thursday.

Finally, on Friday –after a bomb blast in the troubled southwest that left one dead – Colombia’s Central Bank chopped its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points, down to 4.75, for the second consecutive month to try and boost a still strong, but increasingly slowing economy. Read more

The sense of uncertainty in the global economy is palpable, and rightly so. China is slowing – no one is sure by how much; Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is going from bad to worse – but no one knows how much worse it will get; and the US is still just muddling through.

So what’s a central banker in Latin America to do? Judging by the raft of rates decisions and minutes out this week – many of the region’s policy makers are happy taking the wait-and-see approach. Read more