Posted inMagazine

Best Bank − Guatemala: Banco Industrial

Big Fish
Banco Industrial’s acquisitions of Banco del Occidente in 2006, Banco del Comercio in 2007 and Banco Quetzal this year, make it king of a fragmented but quickly consolidating market. It now commands a 28% share in Guatemala, according to the bank, with assets of $5.4 billion as of June. Industrial is also the largest bank at a time when there is an investor flight to quality, says Marvin Guevara, analyst at Fitch. This has resulted in a large increase in deposits over the past two years compared to other banks, despite system-wide troubles.

Posted inMagazine

Best Bank − Jamaica: Scotiabank

Finding Growth
Competition is tight at all ends of Jamaica’s banking market. The system’s two largest, Scotiabank and National Commercial Bank (NCB) were nearly level in assets as of mid-year, with 287 billion and 280 billion Jamaican dollars, respectively. Profitability was also close, with Scotia claiming an ROE of 25.61% and NCB 29.54%, as of the end of July and June, respectively

Posted inMagazine

Best Bank − Mexico: BBVA Bancomer

Storm Protected
No one can yet be sure how much Mexico’s economy will suffer next year from the global credit mess and US slowdown. Over the past several years, its banks have lent ever more aggressively as they try to poach customers from each other and recruit from the lower-earning unbanked masses. A slowdown in lending is inevitable in 2009, with Fitch for one seeing growth of 5%-12%, after several years of rates above 20%.

Posted inMagazine

Best Bank − Panama: Banco General

General Still Commands
It has been over a year since Panama’s Banco General completed integration with Banco Comercial, creating a national champion with $7.2 billion in assets, 21% of the system’s private loans and 25% of local deposits. With HSBC still working to fully consolidate Banistmo, General still has a dominant position – for now. It is on this strength that the institution retains the title of LatinFinance Bank of the Year for Panama.

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