A recently passed law authorizes the sale of shares owned by the Panamanian government in 10 companies with a minimum value of $2 billion.
These companies are known as 'empresas mixtas' (joint venture companies) because they include the participation of public and private capital, among them are power generation companies and the three distributors that emerged after the privatization of the former Institute of Water and Electricity (IRHE by its initials in Spanish). The Panamanian government, in addition to having the right to participate in the decision of these companies, also receives part of the profits they make.
The country's economy grew a remarkable 2.5%, fueled mostly by the construction industry and domestic demand.
On the other side, agriculture was one of the sectors most affected by the crisis, specially by the drop in foreign demand, and by losing a series of tariff benefits under the European SGS-Plus system.
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.
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