The company Financiera de Inversión has received authorization to start operating as a private bank in the country.
With capital of $15 million, the company which has so far only operated in the financial segment will start providing banking services under the brand Banco INV, and will be subject to the regulation required of participants of the banking system.
The bank acquired 70% of the shares of Universal Bank and annulled the license which it had been granted to operate in the microfinance segment.
The Superintendency of Banks authorised CANAL BANK, SA (BMF) General Banking License, to change its name from CANAL BANK, SA (BMF) to CANAL BANK, SA and canceled and annulled the banking license for Microfinancing granted to CANAL BANK, SA (BMF).
With the purchase of another 20% stake, Bancolombia Group now holds 60% of the shares of the Group Agromercantil de Guatemala.
Two years after the acquisition of a 40% stake of Argomercantil Holding Group, Grupo Bancolombia has decided to consolidate its presence in the country by acquiring a further 20%. The Colombian company said the acquisition is part of a consolidation strategy in Guatemala and Central America.
Six new institutions want to join the 94 that make up the banking center which operates in the country, whose assets grew by 35% in the last three years.
Data from the Superintendency of Banks indicates that "... the banking center currently has 94 entities: 2 official banks, 18 Panamanian banks with a general license; 29 foreign banks with a general license, 29 internationally licensed and 16 representative offices.
"While low growth rates of GDP restrict credit growth and earnings, expansion in consumer loans could weaken credit quality."
From a report by Fitch Ratings:
Fitch Ratings - San Salvador - (July 16, 2015): The largest Salvadoran banks have a strong ability to absorb losses, which protects them from the weak operating environment and asset quality pressures, according to Fitch Ratings' special report .
Limitations on control of casinos and gambling, and the inability to legally access banking information, limit the chances of success in the fight against money laundering.
Passing laws that favor combating money laundering have stalled in Congress, impeding the implementation of effective measures against the problem. This situation affects the results of the evaluation currently being carried out by representatives from the Financial Action Task Force group (FATF).
Analysis by Fitch Ratings projects that banks in the region will maintain strong balance sheets and have stable profitability in 2014.
Excerpted from Fitch Ratings:
Differential Growth and Opportunities: Low financial depth, in most systems, continues to provide significant opportunities for expansion of bank balance sheets; although this is limited by low average income levels. In 2014, assets in the region could increase about 10%, mainly driven by higher portfolios. Central American banking portfolio growth will reach double digits, except for the systems in El Salvador and Panama, which will grow at a slower pace.
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