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Bancolombia's Panama brokerage enters El Salvador

Bancolombia's Panama brokerage enters El Salvador

Panama-based brokerage Valores Banistmo has entered El Salvador to offer its clients broader investment opportunities as the two Central American countries integrate their markets.

Valores Banistmo, part of the Bancolombia financial group, has received a permit to work as a ‘remote operator,’ a figure created by the two countries that allows Panamanian brokers to book trades as if they were a local firm based in El Salvador, and vice versa.

It announced February 13 that it had executed its first transaction in the Salvadoran market, purchasing $4.8 million worth of bonds of Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, according to a statement from the firm.

Valores Banistmo’s move follows a project by El Salvador and Panama to integrate their exchanges, a process that has been ongoing since at least 2008.

‘Banistmo’s commitment, through its brokerage, is to deepen the capital markets so we can give our clients interesting investment opportunities in the local market and in El Salvador’s too,’ said Valores Banistmo president Jorge Mujica.

The firm offers its clients access to international markets through vehicles such as mutual funds, structured notes and bonds, according to its website.

Other Latin American countries are aiming to deepen their markets by banding together. In 2011, Pacific Alliance members Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru launched the Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano, a common exchange that allows investors to access stocks in the entire block through local brokers.

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