Peru is only slowly recovering from a battering of several
years of political turmoil, stalled economic restructuring,
global and regional recession, a commodity price slump and the
worst El Niño season for a generation. The optimism that
suffused the Peruvian banking sector in September 1994, when
Banco Wiese listed on the New York Stock Exchange at $19.75, is
gone along with the listing itself: BWP was delisted in April
2001, at 40 cents a share. The bank that carries the Wiese name
today is a far cry from the venerable local franchise that was
listed seven years ago. The most important development in the
bank's recent history was the takeover, in 1999, by Banco de
Lima Sudameris. Banco de Lima had had a small but successful
franchise and a substantial shareholding from Crédit
Lyonnais. Banque Sudameris, the Paris-based subsidiary of the
then Banca Commerciale Italiana, next used Banco...
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