UPDATE 2-Colombia's Santos reappoints Cardenas as finance minister

Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:57pm EDT

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(Adds detail on currency, GDP growth)

BOGOTA, July 14 (Reuters) - Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos will retain Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas during his second four-year term in office, which begins next month, a Finance Ministry statement said on Monday.

Colombia's economy has grown increasingly attractive to foreign investors with growth remaining above 4 percent since 2010 combined with low inflation. Commodities are a key part of its output, including crude oil, coal and coffee.

Cardenas, who earned a doctorate in economics at the University of California, Berkeley, has been finance minister since September 2012 after a stint as mines and energy minister.

As minister, he also represents the government on the central bank's seven-member board, which has led efforts to stem gains in the currency.

Strong economic growth, which in the first quarter was a higher-than-forecast 6.4 percent, has helped bring in a flood of overseas investment into Colombia's capital markets, bolstering the value of the peso.

Cardenas has described the strong peso as "the mother of all problems" and spent much of his first year in office trying to stem its gains. A strong peso affects companies that receive dollars from customers but pay production costs in local currency.

Colombia is expecting an upgrade from ratings agency Moody's in the coming days, a government official told Reuters recently. Moody's has declined to comment. (Reporting by Helen Murphy; Writing by Peter Murphy)

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