Colombia’s largest holding company, Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA is likely to book a net profit close to 500 billion Colombian pesos ($279 million), boosted by its insurance business and the profit on the sale of a stake in Colombia’s largest retailer, David Bojanini, Suramericana’s Chief Executive, said Tuesday in an interview.
The company controls Colombia’s largest insurance firm, Suramericana SA, which is growing decently, and made a one-time profit on the sale of a 5.8% stake in retailer Almacenes Exito SA to Citigroup earlier this year, Bojanini said.
The company made a profit of COP33 billion on the sale, said Jairo Lastra, a market analyst with local brokerage Proyectar Valores.
“I think Bojanini is being conservative,” Lastra added.
Grupo Suramericana reported a net profit of COP446 billion in 2009.
The company’s shares gained 51% so far this year, to COP37,000 on Tuesday.
Lastra said the company will continue to do well, but he recommends selling, as the shares are already very expensive as people’s expectations are too high.
The holding group is the largest shareholder of the country’s largest bank, Bancolombia SA, and owns stakes in Grupo Nacional de Chocolates and in Inversiones Argos SA, a holding company with assets in cement and power generation.
Suramericana is currently negotiating the acquisition of Bancolombia’s insurance company in El Salvador, Bojanini said. “We want to gather in the same company all the insurance activities of the group.” Suramericana is evaluating the acquisition of insurance firms in other countries of the region, he added.
Suramericana will transfer cash to Bancolombia, as both were separate companies. (Inti Landauro / Dow Jones Newswires)