One of the effects of the economic crisis was that thousand of Panamanians rushed to establish their own businesses, causing an increase in micro-credit of 18.7% in the first half of 2009, when compared to the same period of 2008.
An article in newspaper Prensa.com points out that "Mr. Even Chi Pardo, manager of bank 'G&T Continental', considers the figures an example of this market's potential. His reasoning is based on the 3.8% growth of the entire credit portfolio of the national banking system. Pardo concludes that micro-credit grew more than credit at banks in the same time-frame. ...
Currently, there are three entities engaged in lending to micro and small companies: 'Banco Delta', 'G&T Continental' and 'Mi Banco'".
Credit needs for the entrepreneurial sector in the country reached $ 245 million.
The figure comes from the study "Proposal of policy, strategy and action plan for implementation of micro-finance services in Panama", created by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Ampyme) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Up until August three banking entities with microfinance licenses granted loans worth $154.17 million to micro and small businesses.
Capital.com.pa reports that "statistics from the Superintendency of Banks in Panama up to August 2013 indicate that Banco Delta leads the credit portfolios, with 72.24% of the total. Its followers are MiBanco, with 17.12% and Banco G & T Continental, with 10.64% ... ".
Four banks compete with a wide range of small credits under $20 thousand Dollars.
Industrial Bank (BI), Rural Development (Banrural), G & T Continental and Bantrab offer term, conditions and personalized service in order to fill this market niche.
Sigloxxi.com writes "The president of the Central American Microfinance Network (Redcamif), Reynold Walter, said that loans of this type represent 70% in rural areas, while in metropolitan areas account for 30%. Out of the total, two-thirds are managed by women. "
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