EXCLUSIVE: Panama’s Motta Eyes Home Potential

Sep 1, 2010

In a rare interview, Panamanian mogul Stanley Motta weighs his country’s potential for growth in infrastructure and capital markets. He does not rule out M&A for Copa.

by Sean Mattson

When the last decade’s wave of foreign bank acquisitions swept through Panama, Stanley Motta, then-chairman of the local Banco Continental de Panama faced two options for his family-led financial institution: sell or merge. He met with directors of local rival Banco General and reached a decision.

“The two groups got together and said, ‘Do we want to be threatened by a sellout or do we want to get together and have a domestic bank?’,” Motta tells LatinFinance. The move helped cement one of Panama’s leading business family’s reputations as an able competitor in an increasingly globalized economy. “We obviously answered that question with a merger,” Motta affirms.

Now one of Central America’s largest, the General that sprung from the 2007 merger is poised for more organic growth, says Motta, even as foreign interest in scooping up...

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