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Uruguay

Best bank
ABN Amro Best debt house
Citigroup

Once, Uruguay was known as the Switzerland of Latin America for the health of its banking system; that?s unlikely to be the case again. But one bank does stand out as a success story against a background of insolvent local banks and scared foreign banks which, during the crisis, seemed almost as prone to panic as their depositors.

ABN Amro developed a reputation as a safe place to put savings during the crisis. It is now clearly Uruguay?s leading bank, taking over the mantle once held by Banco Comercial, whose fraudulent accounting helped trigger the crisis in the first place. We now know, of course, that Banco Comercial was run by crooks; Uruguayans have learnt their lesson, and have decided to place their trust in the Dutch instead.

Citigroup masterminded the country?s full-scale debt restructuring in May 2003, issuing an international bond ? denominated in Uruguayan pesos ? and helping to ease the country back into the international capital markets.

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