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Argentina: Banks set for broader funding opportunities

Central bank to change tier 1 regulation in two months.

Martin Redrado, president of the Argentine central bank Redrado: banks on recovery path

Argentina’s central bank is considering allowing hybrid securities to be accepted as tier 1 capital on a bank’s balance sheet. If approved, the measure will facilitate banks’ access to the international capital markets. This, in turn, will be a big step forward in the recovery process for local banks, following the financial crisis in 2001/02. Martin Redrado, president of the central bank, says that the move will mean that securities such as perpetuals – hybrids that are close to equity – will be considered as tier 1 capital. He expects the change in the regulatory framework to be made in about two months, after the central bank’s board of directors has analysed its implications.

Argentina’s banks are making profits again and some are even accessing the international capital markets. In March, Banco Macro Bansud became only the third Argentine bank to list on the New York Stock Exchange, when it raised $192 million through an IPO. The bank, which is Argentina’s 10th biggest, has undergone rapid growth over the past decade and was one of the few financial institutions to escape relatively unharmed from the crisis.

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