With a $1.77 billion all-cash purchase of Panama's Banistmo in September 2006, HSBC entered Central America after more than two years searching for a target. One of the world's strongest banks instantly became the region's largest, setting up a showdown with Citi, which bought El Salvador's Grupo Cuscatlán for $1.5 billion shortly after. The acquisition leaves HSBC well-positioned to create economies of scale and improve retail banking products, services and technology in the region. It is on this potential that HSBC is awarded LatinFinance Bank of the Year for Central America.
"When you look at what they've done globally, HSBC is...
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