November 6, 2019 / 5:12 PM / 15 days ago

Colombia central bank profit equivalent to a tax reform - board chief

BOGOTA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Colombia’s central bank will make some 7.2 trillion pesos ($2.17 billion) in profit this year, a value equivalent to what the country could raise with a tax reform, bank board chief Juan Jose Echavarria said on Wednesday.

The earnings - the product of yields on international reserves, mostly dollars, the bank has invested in - are more than double the government’s estimate of 3.5 trillion pesos for the year.

“This won’t ever happen again; this is a tax reform,” Echavarria said during a presentation to a Senate committee.

Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said recently that higher central bank earnings would be used to replace part of the 8.5 trillion pesos the government had said it would seek by selling off state shares in more than 100 companies.

The profit will likely alleviate some fiscal headaches for the government, which has been obliged to present a new tax reform to congress after the constitutional court overturned a previous version of the measure. ($1 = 3,318.47 Colombian pesos) (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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