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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