Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz is the product of a smart merger
that gave the number two bank in Bolivia full geographical
coverage and operational efficiencies that are directly
reflected in its profitability, including the best return on
equity (ROE) in the country.
Among the most compelling features of the 2006 union of Banco
Mercantil and Banco Santa Cruz, which created by far the
biggest bank in Bolivia, is the fact that their client bases
had very little overlap. Mercantil, the second largest at the
time, and Santa Cruz, the fifth, were unusually distant
neighbors, with the former occupying the western half of the
country, including centers like La Paz, Cochabamba and San
Luís de Potosí, and the latter's business
concentrated in the eastern...
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