Publication: Corporate Governance Country Assessment : Colombia

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World Bank
This report assesses the corporate governance policy framework, enforcement and compliance practices in Colombia. The capital markets are small relative to the economy and trading volume is low equity trading totals about USD one million, as compared to USD one billion in fixed income trading. The corporate sector is largely owned and controlled by family groups and conglomerates. The challenge is to create an environment where medium-sized companies can raise capital in the market and help them make the transition from tightly-controlled family firms to public companies. While pension funds represent a large and rapidly growing source of funds, they are reluctant to invest in equities. It has been demonstrated across countries that capital market development correlates positively with the degree of shareholder protection and good corporate governance. Awareness of the importance of corporate governance issues is growing. Success stories of privatizations linked with good corporate governance highlight the importance of the issue. Colombia is an interesting example of the interplay between legal changes and voluntary initiatives based on the incentive to attract capital. It has put a minimum corporate governance disclosure regime in place for companies that wish to be eligible for pension fund investments. The report recommends (i) the adoption of a securities bill as proposed by the securities regulator supevalores; (ii) the adoption of International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and the creation of an independent audit oversight board; (iii) improved enforcement; (iii) enhanced monitoring of compliance with the code of good governance, for example by introducing a comply-or-explain requirement; and (iv) the creation of a director training organization.
World Bank. 2003. Corporate Governance Country Assessment : Colombia. Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC);. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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