In April this year the mortgage loan portfolio of the banking system amounted to $12 billion, 15% more than in the same month in 2014.
The growing demand for homes in Panama is the main factor behind the steady growth in mortgage lending, which is expected to continue rising due to the deficit that still exists in the availability of housing.
The growth in the portfolio between April 2014 and March of this year was $1.545 billion.
The Venezuelan bank has moved its headquarters from Caracas to Panama City in order to manage, from there, the running of its branches in the other countries where it operates.
Dispelling rumors of a sale of its operations in Venezuela the government of Nicolas Maduro has announced that the entity will set up in Panama and from there coordinate activities in the 14 countries where it operates.
The portfolio of loans granted through credit cards grew by 18% between November 2012 and November 2013.
Up until November 2013, the balance of active cards reached a total of $1.207 billion, while in the same period of 2012 it was $1.021 billion, representing an increase of 18% , according to statistics from the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP).
The Venezuelan bank’s participation in the Costa Rican market will be marked by flexibility and adaptability to local characteristics.
Representatives from local banks, in the face of entry of a new competitor, agreed that this will stimulate the segment of medium-sized banks.
Strengths of the new institution are reported to be their knowledge of the Latin American market and experience in micro and small enterprises.
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).
Increased controls on lending to sectors such as construction and a reduction in branch openings are some of the measures.
Jorge Salas, Bank manager, informed Prensa.com: "There will be three new branches that the bank will open this year instead of five; tactics will change and the focus will be monitoring whom we lend to more closely, without excluding any segment in particular."
Venezuelan bank Banesco is setting up a regional headquarters in Panama next year for an expansion project in Central America and the Caribbean.
Costa Rica, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic are the first countries that Banesco executives have set their sights on. Ricardo Ayala, chairman of the bank's board, emphasized that Banesco would finance the expansion from its own resources.
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