Best Bank Bolivia: Still on Top

Nov 1, 2009

Banks operating in the smaller LatAm economies have hunkered down during the crisis and the pecking order has remained largely the same as a result. In Bolivia, the dominant bank remains Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz (BMSC).

BMSC claims $1.6 billion in assets, as of March, ahead of number two Banco Nacional’s $1.2 billion, according to Moody’s. It holds 32% of Bolivian deposits and has made 28% of the country’s loans, the agency adds. The bank spawned by the 2006 merger of Banco Mercantil and Banco Santa Cruz will likely only be supplanted by another merger.

Bolivian banks have suffered but remained profitable during the downturn. The system showed ROA...

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