Starting December 22nd 2016 a new rule applies that prevents banks in Costa Rica from deciding how much of their capital they want to hold denominated in dollars and how much in colones.
In an attempt to gain more control of the risk involved in foreign exchange transactions by banks and their impact on the exchange rate, the Central Bank has changed the rules for foreign exchange cash operations, forcing banks to change the composition of their assets so that the proportion denominated in dollars is equal to the proportion of assets in that currency.
Up to September 2016 annual growth in the loan portfolio of the banking system decreased from 23% to 20%.
From the Central Bank´s financial report, September 2016:
Credit growth declined. In September 2016, gross loans totaled 136,803.4 million cordobas, with a growth of 20.0 percent. This represents a decrease of 3.1 percentage points compared to the figure seen in September 2015.Meanwhile, real credit growth declined by 3.9 percentage points compared to that observed in September 2015 (19.8% vs 15.9% 2015 2016).The gross loan portfolio of the financial system remains active with the most weight in the balance of the financial system (66.0%).
Up to the month of August the balance of the loan portfolio in the banking system amounted to $47.7 million, 9.9% more than in the same month in 2015.
Although the latest official census figures on constructions were not very promising, this sector continues to lead the growth of credit in Panama.Up to August, credit granted by banks to the construction sector recorded its second highest rate of growth, with 16%, preceded only by credit for industrial activities, which grew by almost 20% during the period in question.
The International Banking Center reported $118 billion in assets in 2015, $10 billion more than was recorded in 2014.
In 2015 the International Banking Center in Panama reported total assets in the order of $118,477 million, 9.2% more than the amount reached in 2014, when the figure reached $108,419 million, according to figures from the Superintendency of Banks in Panama.
On August 10 general license banks interested in the assets of the entity may submit offers.
The reorganizing entity designated by the Superintendency of Banks explained that the first to be invited are general license banks in the country, who will have 20 days to submit their proposals for all or part of the assets.
Anpanama.com reports that "...Once proposals have been submitted, the most feasible will be chosen, and then passed on to an analysis phase after which, finally, the company who will buy the assets of Banco Universal will be decided. "
The Colombian Bank which already has a presence in Central America said it is still interested in a possible acquisition of the assets of Citi's consumer banking operations in Central America.
A Spanish bank was the first entity to be interested in acquiring the consumer banking operations belonging to Citi in the region, however the negotiations did not come to fruition and now it has been reported that the Colombian bank, which according to reports has been interested from the beginning, is in talks with Citi ombudsmen over the possible purchase of its regional operations, estimated at $1.5 billion.
Citigroup today announced strategic actions to accelerate the transformation of its Global Consumer Banking (GCB) to focusing on those markets where it has the largest scale and growth potential. As a result, Citigroup intends to exit its consumer businesses in 11 markets. The new consumer banking footprint will serve 57 million customers in 24 markets which capture more than 95% of the existing revenue base in GCB, while further simplifying operations and improving performance.
In the first half of the year profits in the banking system amounted to $900 million, a variation of -6.2% compared to the profits generated in the same period in 2013.
The Superintendency of Banks of Panama reported that this reduction is due to the loss of up to 14% in other income. In the case of Panamanian banks, the situation is more favorable, as they increased their profits in comparison to the same period of 2013 by 10.5%.
Between January and November 2013, Panamanian banks gave out 14% more loans than in the same period of 2012.
Statistics from the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP), reveal that during the first 11 months of 2013, the National Banking System (SBN by its initials in Spanish) gave out 14% more loans than in the same period of 2012, with its balance being $24.8154 billion.
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