Banorte has come a long way in a short time. As Mexico's last big locally-owned commercial bank, Banorte has its work cut out to compete against giant foreign-owned banks that dominate the Mexican banking industry. Banorte is headquartered in Monterrey and only became a national player two years ago after buying Bancrecer, a Mexico City bank that was under government intervention.
That deal roughly doubled Banorte's assets to $20.11 billion in early 2002, making it a serious player in a country where competitive pressure has become very intense. It is now Mexico's fourth-largest commercial bank by assets. The Bancrecer acquisition also handed Banorte a bank with a relatively clean balance sheet. Although Banorte's management still has many challenges to overcome, they have made a good start and claims this year's LatinFinance prize as most improved bank in Mexico.
Mandate to Grow
A few years ago, Banorte looked like an...
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