Alberto Bernal, head of research at Bulltick Capital Markets, says “We consider that if Juan Manuel Santos were to be the next President of Colombia, then Uribe’s policies would be continued with 95 percent intensity,” while Mockus will follow Uribe’s policies with “75-80 percent intensity.”
The economic policy difference between the two candidates, currently tied in the opinion polls, are “subtle,” and the markets’ preference for Santos is based on the candidates’ probable choices of finance minister, says Bernal.
If Mockus were to win, former Central Bank governor Salomon Kalmanovitz would likely be the next finance minister. Kalmanovitz has been critical of the Uribe administration, but is “widely regarded” as a serious and orthodox economic thinker.
Kalmanovitz is expected to carry out structural reform to lower the rate of income tax, close tax loopholes, and eliminate payroll taxes to reduce the size of the black economy. He supports the independence of the Central Bank.
Despite classing Kalmanovitz as a “fiscal conservative”, Bernal adds that the markets would nevertheless “feel more comfortable” with Juan Manuel Santos winning the presidency, as his finance minister would likely be Juan Carlos Echeverry, who has “very strong orthodox fiscal and monetary views.”