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Banking

Paraguay Best Bank: Interbanco

Bahamas I Bardados I Bermuda I Dominician Republic I Jamaica I Trinidad & Tobago I Costa Rica I El Salvador I Guatemala I Honduras I Nicaragua I Panama I Argentina I Bolivia I Brazil I Chile I Colombia I Ecuador I Mexico I Paraguay I Peru I Uruguay I Venezuela

Paraguay’s largest bank, Interbanco, doubled its profits last year to $13 million. Owned by Brazil’s third-largest privately owned bank, Unibanco, Interbanco has been leading the sector’s revival after a long slump and a reputation for poor management – between May 1995 and April 2003, 15 banks were either closed or subject to intervention in Paraguay. Interbanco has benefited from banking reforms that include government initiatives to reactivate the local credit market and create a new public bank that can lend to private banks for long-term company loans. Sustained growth in net service income, stronger volume in the consumer loan and credit card segments, lower provisions and a reduction in administrative expenses helped Interbanco achieve a 43% jump in first-quarter profits, an 11% rise in its loan portfolio and a loan market share of 15%. The bank’s past-due loan ratio stood at 2.32%

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