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Document Type

Case Study

Abstract

Colombia began 1999 amidst a deep recession, caused in part by financial and trade sector liberalization and exacerbated by an unexpectedly sudden appreciation of the peso. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) amounted to more than 14% of total loans, up from 8% in 1998. Colombian authorities thus decided to implement a three-year economic recovery program in late 1999. As part of the government’s strategy, banks slated for recapitalization were compelled to transfer or write off their NPL portfolios to Central de Inversiones SA (CISA), a public special purpose vehicle acquired by the deposit guarantee fund Fogafín in September 2000 for the management and disposal of bad assets. From October to December 2001, Fogafín capitalized CISA with a total of COP 520 billion ($296.1 million) in public funds. Between 2001 and 2007, CISA purchased COP 5.6 trillion in bad assets from seven public banks, Fogafín, and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, raising in cash more than COP 3.2 trillion through the disposition of assets. Upon the conclusion of its crisis-era operations, the Ministry of Finance acquired CISA from Fogafín in December 2007.

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