Bancolombia announced it had agreed to pay $2.1Bn to acquire HSBC Panama, as the bank continues to expand in Central America. HSBC Panama’s net asset value is estimated to be $700M.

Bancolombia’s regulatory filing said that through Sept. 30, 2012, HSBC Panama had $7.6Bn in assets, $5.7Bn in loans and $5.8Bn in deposits. The deal is the latest signal of Bancolombia’s global ambitions. In December, Bancolombia said that it had agreed to obtain 40% of Grupo Agromercantil of Guatemala. It also owns Banco Agricola in El Salvador. The financial sector in Central America has evolved in an important way in the last few years, in particular in Panama, Bancolombia’s president, Carlos Raul Yepes, said in a statement. HSBC, based in London, has been divesting itself of many of its Latin American assets, and Colombian banks have been largely the buyers.

Last year, Davivienda acquired HSBC’s assets in Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador. Also in 2012, GNB Sudameris, part of the Gilinksi Group, purchased HSBC Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. The transaction requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.