Colombia’s foreign debt, measured in relation to gross economic output, climbed in May from the same month last year, fueled by a surge in foreign debt taken by the private sector.
Colombia’s total foreign debt, which includes the government and private sector, stood at 20.3% of gross domestic product in May, versus 19.1% of GDP registered a year earlier. The total foreign debt stood at $67.9 billion in May, up from $68.3 billion in April.
The higher outstanding debt from a year earlier is the result of the private sector taking on more foreign loans, data from the central bank show. Foreign debt owed by the private sector stands at $28.5 billion, up from $17.4 billion a year earlier. The government debt in May stood at $39.3 billion, up from $37.4 billion in the same month last year.
Demand for Colombian bonds has increased in recent months as the country was awarded investment-grade status by three major ratings companies. The move opened the door for institutional investors, which have restrictions on investing in anything but investment-grade instruments, to buy Colombian debt.