Colombia is mainly located in northwestern South America with some areas in Central America. Colombia borders Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, while its maritime border borders Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America and almost five times the size of Great Britain.
Colombia has a relatively advanced and diverse economy, as well as economic and political stability. Entrepreneurs have numerous opportunities in various industries, especially in niche areas. Major industries include textiles, clothing and footwear, food processing and beverages, petroleum, chemicals, cement and automobiles, coal, gold and emeralds, and household appliances. Main exports are coal, crude oil, coffee and non-ferrous metals.
Colombia is home to numerous local and multinational companies. Below is the list of the top five companies in Colombia.
Ecopetrol, formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos SA, is the largest company in Colombia and its main activity is oil and gas exploration and other activities. As a result of efficient operations and continued growth, the company has risen to the top of the Fortune Global 500 as one of the largest companies in the world by revenue. In 2012, Ecopetrol was the 346th largest company in the world according to the Fortune Global 500 Top. It was also one of the top 25 oil companies in the world and one of the top 4 oil companies in Latin America. Since then, the company has lost some of its revenue year after year and, with sales of nearly $16 billion in fiscal 2016, was not included in the Fortune Global 500 list of the largest companies in the world, but is currently the number 559th company in Forbes Global 2000 top.
The largest company in Colombia was founded in 1921 and is currently headquartered in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. Exploration is one of the Company's primary activities. It has made numerous significant advances in the exploration segment, particularly offshore prospecting for hydrocarbons. Some of them are Rydberg with Shell and Nexen, Lion with Repsol, and part of the Orca-1 discovery team, the first discovery of its kind in the deep waters of the Colombian Caribbean. Other business activities include manufacturing, innovation, science and technology, transportation, supply and marketing.
In recent years, Grupo Aval has managed to grow in terms of revenue, surpassing Bancolombia to take the second place at the top of the largest companies in Colombia. Grupo Aval is a holding company headquartered in Bogota, Colombia, which primarily operates in Colombia and Central America. The Company is engaged in a variety of activities including banking, telecommunications and real estate. The holding is controlled by Luis Carlos Sarmiento, who directly and indirectly owns over 90% of the company's shares.
Grupo Aval owns BAC-Credomatic, which operates in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Florida in the United States. In addition, the holding company owns enough shares in other companies to control their operations. Most of them are financial institutions in Colombia: Banco de Bogota SA, Banco de Occidente SA, Banco Popular SA, Banco AV Villas SA, etc.
Grupo Aval ranks 693rd in the Forbes Global 2000 peak with $8.5 billion in revenue and figures in many other Forbes-based peaks: #88 in Top Regarded Companies, #377 in Assets, #899 in Profit and # 1289 in Market Value.
With 2016 operating income of nearly $7 billion, Bancolombia is the second largest commercial banking financial institution in Colombia and one of the largest in Latin America. The bank was founded in 1945 and is currently headquartered in Medellin, Colombia. Bancolombia is a full-service bank offering a wide range of financial products and services to a diversified corporate and retail customer base not only in Colombia but also in countries such as Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Peru, Brazil and the Cayman Islands , the United States, Australia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Bancolombia operates in nine segments: Banks in Colombia and Banks in El Salvador, Trust, Investments, Leasing, Pensions & Insurance, Brokerage, Offshore and All Others.
Banco Davivienda is a Colombia-based bank founded in 1972 and with headquarters in Bogota, Colombia. It is currently a part of Grupo Bolivar, the third biggest financial institution in Colombia by profits and assets. Banco Davivienda offers financial services to corporate and individual customers as well as the rural sector. Banco Davivienda currently is number 1374 in the Forbes Global 2000 top with 3.3 billion USD.
Grupo Bolivar is a holding company with over 70 years of experience and operating in various sectors, such as financial, insurance and construction. Interestingly, although Grupo Bolivar had a slightly bigger amount of revenues than Banco Davivienda, Forbes has placed it below its daughter company – it takes 1546th place in Forbes Global 2000 top.