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Best Bank - Puerto Rico

Nov 1, 2010

Puerto Rico has been suffering a recession for more than four years. Several banks have collapsed, unemployment has soared and bankruptcies have increased.

Against these rough seas, Santander’s local unit has been swimming upstream.

Assets increased to $8.8 billion in the first quarter of 2010 from $8.1 billion a year earlier. In the same period, the bank grew its return on assets (ROA) to 1.27% from zero, and its return on equity (ROE) to 14.07% from -0.02%.

However, the Spanish bank, like most large institutions in the system, is underperforming. Average ROA at Puerto Rican banks is 2.86% and average ROE is 29.43%, according to US-based business intelligence firm...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management