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Foreign Investment in Colombia’s Financial Sector


  • Adolfo Barajas
  • Natalia Salazar
  • Roberto Steiner


This study analyzes foreign investment in Colombia’s financial system, chronicling major changes in legislation, describing how investment flows evolved over time, and comparing performance of foreign–owned versus domestic banks. Panel data estimations reveal that financial liberalization in general had a beneficial impact on bank behavior in Colombia. Although the positive contribution of foreign entry may be overstated in recent studies by not controlling for other liberalization factors, foreign (and domestic) entry beginning in 1990 did improve bank behavior by enhancing operative efficiency and competition. However, this came at the expense of a deterioration in the loan quality of domestic banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Adolfo Barajas & Natalia Salazar & Roberto Steiner, 1999. "Foreign Investment in Colombia’s Financial Sector," IMF Working Papers 99/150, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:99/150

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    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:411228 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ducanes, Geoffrey. & Abella, Manolo I., 2008. "Labour shortage responses in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia : a review and evaluation," ILO Working Papers 994112283402676, International Labour Organization.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jansen, Marion, 2006. "Services Trade Liberalization at the Regional Level: Does Southern and Eastern Africa Stand to Gain from EPA Negotiations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. World Bank & the People’s Republic of China Development Research Center of the State Council, 2013. "China 2030 : Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative Society," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12925, June.
    3. Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza & Mónica Yañez, 2004. "Propiedad y desempeño de la banca," Research Department Publications 4382, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Frances N. Obafemi, 2012. "The Technical Efficiency of Nigerian Banks," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(2), pages 407-420, June.
    5. Carmen Hernansanz & Miguel Sebastian, 2000. "The Spanish Banks strategy in Latin America," Working Papers 0003, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    6. Marco Del Negro & Stephen J. Kay, 2002. "Global banks, local crises: bad news from Argentina," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 89-106.
    7. Montgomery, Heather, 2003. "The role of foreign banks in post-crisis Asia: the importance of method of entry," MPRA Paper 33031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sensarma, Rudra, 2006. "Are foreign banks always the best? Comparison of state-owned, private and foreign banks in India," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 717-735, July.
    9. Heliodoro Temprano Arroyo, 2002. "Latin America's integration processes in the light of the EU's experience with EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 173, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Poghosyan, Tigran, 2013. "Financial intermediation costs in low income countries: The role of regulatory, institutional, and macroeconomic factors," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 92-110.
    11. Marco Arena & Carmen Reinhart & Francisco Vázquez, 2006. "The Lending Channel in Emerging Economics: Are Foreign Banks Different?," NBER Working Papers 12340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2001. "Does foreign bank penetration reduce access to credit in developing countries"evidence from asking borrowers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2716, The World Bank.
    13. Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza & Mónica Yañez, 2004. "Bank Ownership and Performance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1544, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Clarke, George & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Sanchez, Susana M, 2005. "Bank Lending to Small Businesses in Latin America: Does Bank Origin Matter?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 83-118, February.
    15. Petrou, Andreas, 2007. "Multinational banks from developing versus developed countries: Competing in the same arena?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 376-397, September.
    16. Meriem Haouat & Diego N. Moccero & Ramiro Sosa Navarro, 2012. "Foreign Banks and Credit Volatility: The Case of Latin American Countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 1017-1033, November.
    17. Miguel Ángel Morales Mosquera, "undated". "Concentración y estabilidad financiero: el caso del sistema bancario colombiano," Temas de Estabilidad Financiera 058, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    18. Detragiache, Enrica & Gupta, Poonam, 2006. "Foreign banks in emerging market crises: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 217-242, October.
    19. Orji Anthony, 2012. "Bank Savings and Bank Credits in Nigeria: Determinants and Impact on Economic Growth," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(3), pages 357-372.
    20. Unite, Angelo A. & Sullivan, Michael J., 2003. "The effect of foreign entry and ownership structure on the Philippine domestic banking market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2323-2345, December.
    21. Kyriaki Kosmidou & Fotios Pasiouras & Angelos Tsaklanganos, 2005. "Factors influencing the profits and size of Greek banks operating abroad: a pooled time-series study," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(10), pages 731-738.
    22. Maria Angelica Arbelaez & Juan Jose Echavarria, 2002. "Credit, Financial Liberalization and Manufacturing Investment in Colombia," Research Department Publications 3145, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.


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