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BANKING

Bolivia Best Bank: Banco de Crédito de Bolivia

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

Banco de Crédito de Bolivia is benefiting from perceptions that it is a safe bank in a volatile country because of the backing of its highly successful parent company, Peru’s Credicorp. That has enabled Banco de Crédito to report a 113% jump in profits in 2005 to $10.2 million and a 347% jump in earnings in the first quarter to $3 million. The steady increase in the bank’s assets and a fall in past-due loans to 5.8% from 11% over the past year won it an AA rating from Fitch in December. Ranked fourth in the local banking system, with an asset market share of 13.2%, or $521 million, the bank’s performing loans rose 15% to $330 million in the first three months of the year. Credicorp is upbeat about Banco de Crédito’s growth potential despite the May nationalization of Bolivia’s natural resources by leftist president Evo Morales, and says it can capture new customers via its new commercial products, its foreign trade business and by easing money transfers.

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