Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 57

2011

us to access in a more e cient form a growing base of depositors,” General’s CEO Raul Aleman, tells LatinFinance. Aleman credits the bank’s discipline in maintaining margins to e cient management of liquidity and costs. General expanded to Costa Rica in 2009 and plans to continue expanding in the neighboring Central American countries in coming years, Aleman says. General has continued opening branches there and this year acquired Citibank’s mortgage portfolio, adding some 1,000 new clients. Its private and corporate banking operations, which include Mexico and Colombia, are also planned areas of growth. LF

the Dominican operating environment will help enhance the financial profile of the bank.” The outlook was rea rmed in May as the ratings agency noted Popular’s conservative risk culture and stable profitability in the face of historically low interest rates. Some 73% of Popular’s net income from 2007-2010 was generated by interest. The bank credits greater e ciency, technology adaptation, focus on customer needs and training its workforce for the strong performance. With $5.9 billion in assets, Popular ended 2010 with a 23% market share. Historically, the bank’s focus has been on corporate clients but it has successfully expanded into the more profitable – and riskier – retail market, which will continue to be one of the bank’s main focuses moving forward. “BPD’s conservative techniques of Best Bank – Banco Popular risk control have been becoming more sophisticated over the years,” Fitch noted, adding that the bank has created a diversified lending portfolio in spite of the limitations imposed by a relatively small economy. he Dominican Republic’s largest The bank has refined its policy to focus private bank is on track to return to on small and mid-sized companies, “with its pre-crisis performance levels, having the aim of avoiding future deterioration in weathered the global downturn buoyed the quality of the portfolio like those seen by a reputation as a safe haven in the local in 2009.” market. Moving forward, the bank plans on In spite of the fact that the world increased focus on technology – including economy has gone through one of its mobile banking, introduced this year, weakest moments, Banco Popular has partly with the goal of reaching new been able to maintain its growth in market clients. Popular also aims to support the participation and profitability. development of local capital markets. Banco Popular posted a ROAA of The bank is bullish on the local 2.3% in June 2011, up from 2.25% a year economy, which is key to the sector’s earlier. The figure placed Popular well development, and expects current global ahead of the market’s 2.07% ROAA for the economic turmoil to not punish the sector period and near its four-year average of like it did in 2009. 2.32%, Fitch notes. Popular expects falling inflation and Popular’s ROAE through June 2011 continued growth in the Dominican was 26.51%, versus a 21.22% market economy in 2012. Periods of low inflation average for the period and a tick up from permit greater flexibility in monetary 26.43% a year earlier. Net profits, which policy, and as such a drop in interest fell 6.42% in 2009, roared back into rates, presenting a scenario of good positive territory in 2010 with a 16.25% opportunities to expand financial deals, gain. it says. Fitch revised Popular’s AA minus In general, it has expectations that rating to positive in January, in line in 2012 the Dominican economy will with the sovereign’s outlook, noting the continue expanding, and with it the “current and expected improvement in local banking sector will strengthen, says

Popular, brushing aside concerns of a repeat of the global financial crisis. The Dominican banking sector is prudent when investing abroad. As such, the situation of international economic deterioration is not a direct problem for the local banking sector. LF

Jamaica
Best Bank – NCB

Moving Forward
amaica’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) boasts the country’s largest balance sheet and ranks ahead of its peers in terms of profitability after emerging from a protracted economic downturn. Exposure to sovereign debt left it vulnerable during the government’s exchange in 2010, but its ability to reduce funding costs and improve e ciencies compensated for the lower interest and income generated by trading, says S&P. The decent financial performance and improving capital ratios have now put it in a more comfortable position going forward. “We’re hoping that things continue to improve going forward,” says Dennis Cohen, managing director and CEO of NCB Capital Markets. Indeed, the country’s economy seems to be turning the corner, though external shocks always pose a threat to the island nation. Jamaica saw higher-than-expected GDP growth in the second quarter, and the government is also making progress in reducing its fiscal deficit to meet targets set by the IMF standby agreement. NCB is now working on improving sales, perfecting customer experience and enhancing operating e ciencies against what is still a challenging backdrop. Its return on equity (ROE) is currently at a healthy 23.4%, with the bank ranked ahead of peers in compound average growth rate and net profit of 12.8%, Cohen says. Cohen is expecting growth in middletier loans as more people become selfemployed and find work in niche services for an increasingly global market. “Small

The Dominican Republic

J

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November/December 2011

LATINFINANCE 57



Latin Finance - November/December 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Latin Finance - November/December 2011

Latin Finance - November/December 2011
Contents
Contagion Risk
Mexican Credit
China Investment
Loan Markets
Mexico Banks
Sub-Sovereign Debt
Banks of the Year 2011
Argentina Investor Report
Reversal of Fortunes
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Latin Finance - November/December 2011
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Cover2
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Contents
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 2
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 3
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 4
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 5
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 6
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 7
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 8
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 9
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 10
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 11
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Contagion Risk
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 13
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 14
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 15
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 16
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 17
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 18
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 19
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 20
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 21
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Mexican Credit
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 23
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 24
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 25
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - China Investment
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 27
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 28
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 29
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Loan Markets
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 31
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 32
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 33
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Mexico Banks
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 35
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Sub-Sovereign Debt
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 37
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Banks of the Year 2011
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 39
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 40
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 41
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 42
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 43
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 44
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 45
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 46
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 47
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 48
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 49
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 50
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 51
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 52
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 53
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 54
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 55
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 56
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 57
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 58
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 59
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 60
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Argentina Investor Report
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 62
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - 63
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Reversal of Fortunes
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Cover3
Latin Finance - November/December 2011 - Cover4
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