Colombia Grupo Aval Mulls Forming Microlending Venture-Report

Apr 2009
Bogota, Colombia, April, 02 2009 - Colombian financial holding Grupo Aval SA (GRUPOAVAL.BO) plans to make inroads in the microlending business, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, president of Grupo Aval told financial newspaper La Republica.

Grupo Aval is exploring teaming up with Bangladeshi micro-finance firm Grameen Bank (GRABANK.YY) to open a financial institution that lends to the poorest sectors of the economy, Sarmiento added.

"(Grameen) is one of the institutions we have spoken, but we are evaluating other options," he told La Republica.

If Aval enters the microlending business, it will become the third financial institution to specialize in microlending.

In May, ProCredit opened its first branches in Colombia and it was followed in October by Bancamia SA, a new bank controlled by Spanish financial giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBV).

ProCredit is owned by German consultancy Internationale Project Consult, the German development bank KfW and the Dutch foundation DOEN, which was created by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

Luis Carlos Sarmiento is Colombia's second wealthiest man.

Source : Easy Bourse

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