Awards for excellence - Latin America
BEST DEBT HOUSE
BEST M&A HOUSE
BEST EQUITY HOUSE
BEST AT RISK MANAGEMENT
BEST AT TREASURY SERVICES
BEST AT CASH MANAGEMENT
BEST AT PROJECT FINANCE
The past year has been generally excellent for banks in Latin America. Utopia, for any bank, is a region with strong growth and high interest rates – and that's exactly what Latin America was in 2004. Region-wide growth reached a stunning 5.7% in 2004, the highest level in 24 years, even as high interest rates and lending spreads kept banking operations hugely profitable.
The most profitable bank in the region is Citigroup, by an enormous margin. It was the first bank to claim annual profits of more than $2 billion, in 2003; in 2004 it hit an eye-popping $2.89 billion. The new figure is actually an increase of more than $1 billion on 2003, since the bank restated its 2003 profits this year, bringing them down to $1.86 billion.
Citi's flagship Mexico franchise had an excellent year, increasing its profits by 37% to $1.69