Competition to attract customers into the banking sector in Panama and low interest rates account for the 12% growth in consumer credit between March 2014 and March 2015.
Between March 2014 and March 2015 the balance of the portfolio of consumer credit from Panamanian banks recorded an increase of 12.26%, exceeding $8 billion. The low interest rates of around 9% on average for personal installment loans up to 60 months, is the main incentive for borrowing.
Experts have warn that one of the risks of the country being included in a grey list is the possible withdrawal of foreign correspondent banks and financial institutions.
Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... Four months since Panama was included in the gray and thanks to positions held by lawyers, risk consultants, executives of state and private sector executives list, no concrete solutions have been put forward for restoring the reputations of financial transactions in the country."
In the last three years loans for the construction sector increased by 427%.
Statistics of the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP) reveal that between January and May 2013, $2.509 billion more has been provided than in 2011, when the amount of loans processed was $587 million. Loans for interim housing are the largest amount reported at $1.121 billion. Following these, are loans for infrastructure with $668.5 million, loans to build shops with $466 million and other buildings such as additions and remodeling reporting $841 million.
Considering the advantages offered by the Trade Promotion Agreement, U.S. retail chains are evaluating the possibility of setting up operations in the canal country.
Among the factors attracting the attention of these companies are the presence a large number of American and Canadian retirees in the country, economic growth and the benefits of the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) in force with the United States (U.S. ).
Panama’s equity financing costs (2.4%), together with those of El Salvador (1.6%) and Peru (2.0%) are the lowest in Latin America.
In the past 4 years the equity financing costs of the the National Banking System (NBS) in Panama have halved, going from 4.2% in 2007 to 2.2% in 2011, influenced by the international financial situation and low interest rates.
With the exception of car sales, retail trade in Panama has not been affected by the economic crisis.
Although collection of the tax levied on personal property transfers was not good in January and February, the tide began to turn in March, which closed the first quarter of 2009 with a 19.3% increase over the same period last year.
The new provisions for calculating Capital Adequacy Ratio will be coming into force in Panamanian banks on April 1.
Assets that under the current rules were weighted at 100%, with the change will be weighted at 125% and 150%.
The general manager of Equilibrium risk rating, Ernesto Bazán, stated in an article in Prensa.com: "This means that assets, as measured by their risk will be higher and, therefore, the capital adequacy ratio of the Panamanian banking system will be reduced globally. It is currently at 14.3% and it could drop to 13.8% or less with the change."
Equilibrium, a risk rating firm, predicts a slowdown in the Panamanian banking sector in 2009.
Equilibrium, a risk rating firm and a subsidiary of Moody's Investors Service, Inc., believes that credit stagnation, lower margins and higher provisions will push the results of the Panamanian banks downward.
In spite of inflation and the world financial crises, Panamanians continue acquiring credit cards and the banks have not increased their restrictions.
As of September of this year the banking system credit card balance reached 629.8 million dollars, up 5.6 million dollars as compared to August's numbers of 324.2 million dollars, according to the Bank Superintendent's Office.
Central American banks were booming -- but close ties with the USA darken their future.
Central American was undergoing an interesting banking system evolution. Now the crisis has hit hard. Remittances have dropped and so has international business. More expensive capital halts investments in infrastructure and global liquidity restrictions will have a strong impact.
Costa Rica Commercial has launched operations, as the first specialized Costa Rica real estate broker, exclusively specialized in Costa Rica commercial real estate rentals and investment property sales.
Latinamerica Title Co. is an agent of Chicago Title. Our company offers customers the most comprehensive and accurate title and escrow related services in the region, enhancing real estate transactions with a group of services that minimize the risk of investing in a foreign country.
Operates in Costa Rica and Panama
Phone: (506) 2256 9697 - (507) 830 5500
We are a multidisciplinary group specialized in financial and business development consultancy, with special emphasis in the real estate development area.
Operates in Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 8848 2730 - (506) 2233 8848