Local Market Appeal
Although more Panamanian companies are eyeing local capital markets for financing, foreign issuers still dominate the landscape.
Panama's securities commission, the Comisión Nacional
de Valores (CNV), reports that the number of securities
registered in the country in 2004 rose threefold to $488.6
million from $166 million in 2003. Foreign securities
registered on the local primary and secondary markets accounted
for a full $429 million, and they are likely to rise even more
Issuers register their securities with the CNV just as they
would with the SEC or any other regulator. However,
registration is distinct from actual issuance, and not all
securities that are registered - as with a shelf -
are immediately issued. Banks account for most of the new
primary issuance. Banistmo, Panama's biggest bank, led the pack
by registering $150 million in preferred stock and $60 million
in bonds in 2004, while rival Banco General took second place
with a $100 million bond registration. Third place, however,
went to a corporate...
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