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Colombian corporate bond issuance falls nearly 50% in first half of 2022 -Fitch

Aug 25 (Reuters) - Bond issuances by companies in Colombia plunged nearly 50% in the first half of the year due to rising financing costs, Fitch Ratings said on Thursday.

"Rising inflation and a revised monetary policy resulted in a large increase in financing costs, conditions that kept companies from issuing new debt," the agency's senior analyst, Juan David Medellin, said in a report.

Annual inflation in Colombia is at its highest level since April 2000, according to data published by the National Department of Statistics (DANE), reaching 10.21% in annual terms at the end of July.

The political uncertainty of Colombia's latest presidential election also contributed to the lack of confidence in the market and the decline in companies' search for funding, according to the report.

Fitch added it expects corporate bond issuance in the country to continue declining for the rest of the year, but sees hope for 2023, when less market uncertainty and a more stable macroeconomic environment would reduce costs.

While the central bank expects a process of price slowdown soon, the head of its board, Leonardo Villar, acknowledged last week that a "long period" will be needed before reaching the bank's inflation target of 3%. (Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Josie Kao)