September 10, 2019 / 10:46 PM / 5 days ago

Colombia to issue more debt to finance 2020 budget

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia will take out more debt to finance its 2020 budget, which is lacking 8 trillion pesos ($2.37 billion) in funding, Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla Barrera speaks with Colombian lawmakers during a tax reform bill debate at the congress building in Bogota, Colombia December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo

The government will now raise a total of 47.6 trillion pesos ($14.13 billion) in debt for next year, including bond emissions and multilateral loans that were already planned.

“The national government has the financing for the 271.7 trillion pesos contemplated in the budget proposal for 2020,” Carrasquilla said in a statement.

Local TES bonds will total 37.1 trillion pesos, while foreign bonds and multilateral loans will total 10.5 trillion pesos, the statement said.

Carrasquilla had earlier on Tuesday told Congress that the country would take out some 19.2 trillion pesos ($5.7 billion) in new debt to finance next year’s budget, without specifying whether the funds would come from bonds, loans or other sources.

His comments left markets confused as to whether the country would issue additional bonds or seek the money elsewhere, but the afternoon statement included a graphic which showed new debt of 19.2 trillion and 28.4 trillion in rollover bonds.

“The 19.2 trillion pesos correspond to the new debt that will be issued for the financing of the deficit anticipated for 2020,” the afternoon statement said.

The government has previously said it would issue local bonds worth 30.1 trillion pesos in 2020, take out $1.6 billion in multilateral loans and issue $1.7 billion in foreign bonds.

Carrasquilla said last month that the government would need to raise an additional 8 trillion pesos to finance its 2020 budget proposal.

The government’s proposal would be a 9.16% increase on the budget for this year, including increases in operating costs, debt payments and the defence budget.

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, Julia Symmes Cobb and Carlos Vargas; Editing by Paul Simao and Sandra Maler

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