PERU RETAIL: Dear Prudence
Expansion in Peruvian retail banking will likely be slowed by the global meltdown. But a rise in thrifts opens up new frontiers to offset contraction.
by Lucien Chauvin Prudent. That is the word used most often
to describe Perus banking system by people both inside
and outside the sector. And it is being heard almost daily as
the international financial crisis deepens and authorities try
to gauge the impact on the countrys banks. Our
bankers are very prudent. The international exposure is
relatively low, finance minister Luis Valdivieso said in
late September. The minister, however, says the government is
closely watching for signs that this might change, in order to
be able to act accordingly. Two areas being monitored
very closely are the currency and local bourse. The sol, thanks
to interventions from the Central Bank (BCR), has remained
relatively stable, depreciating just 1.1% in September,
compared to the Chilean and Colombian pesos, which depreciated
7.7% and 12.8%, respectively, that same month, according to BCR
data. The BCR sold more than $3 billion in September and...
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