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Banco Rio's Safe, Sensible Strategy

Nov 1, 2001

Enrique Cristofani

Argentina's banks, a pillar of strength before the country slid into recession in 1998, are facing an uncertain future. As Argentina enters its fourth year of recession, preparing for the worst is the only sensible course the banks can take. Banco Río de la Plata, a subsidiary of Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH) once again wins LatinFinance's award for Best Bank in Argentina for its resilience and ability to adapt to adverse conditions.

"Until Argentina recovers and is able to rid itself of the recession, our priority is to strengthen our balance sheet in terms of our loan portfolio and liquidity positions," says Enrique Cristofani, Banco Río's general manager. "We are being very conservative and increasing our loan provisions."

Although the bank has its share of non-performing loans to Argentina's struggling corporates, it has been careful to maintain a coverage ratio of...

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