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.
Slow growth is projected in El Salvador, very good performance in Nicaragua, stability in Panama, more competition in Guatemala and moderate growth in Costa Rica.
From a report by Fitch Ratings entitled "2015 Perspectives: Central American Banks":
Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook for the sector from positive to stable, because the agency does not anticipate substantial improvements in respect to the previous year. The system's profitability will remain low, with less than 1.0% ROAA. The results are limited because of the high dependence on net interest margin (NIM) and additional expenses in provisions for loan losses, due to regulatory changes that established gradual constitutions of general provisions for the best qualified loans. In addition, Fitch does not anticipate improvements in revenue diversification and also foresees a significant revenue exchange rate differential. This last factor has a significant influence on the results of the banks in Costa Rica.
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.
Swiss bankers have detected interesting sectors in the country to whom they can provide services and financing.
"Proof of this is that it is not only the banks USB, BSI and Merrill Lynch whose representative offices form part of the International Banking Center (CBI), but also at least another three new ones will soon implement projects in Panama," reported Capital.com.pa.
In principle, the change will only be cosmetic, with the functional and operational structure remaining in place in the 30 offices and subsidiaries that are now part of the Colombian financial group.
In January 2012 Davivienda signed an agreement to the effect that HSBC Costa Rica, HSBC Honduras and HSBC El Salvador form part of the Bank to strengthen its regional presence. The purchase of the Costa Rican operation was formalized in August, which marked the beginning of a new phase in the organization while maintaining its focus on adding value to customers, employees and shareholders, with a broad portfolio of products and services.
The Panamanian bank is continuing its expansion plans in Central and South America.
Multibank, an entity founded on Panamanian capital, intends to consolidate and expand its share of the banking sector in Colombia and Central America, where it has already acquired full control of Macrofinanciera SA (Colombia) and the incorporation of the company Multi Resuelve (Costa Rica), focused on financing the purchase of cars.
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