Banco de Occidente Outsmarts its Environment

Banco de Occidente Outsmarts its Environment

Central America

Banco de Occidente only has half of the assets and market share of Guatemala's largest bank but this small well-managed bank shows that size is not critical to strong performance. The Guatemalan economy is suffering from the economic slowdown in the US, its primary trading partner, and the drop in the price of coffee, its export staple. Still, the bank, which is majority owned by Corporación de Occidente and has a 120-year history of banking in the country, is outsmarting its environment. It managed to reduce overdue loans to $5.3 million in 2000, down from $10.2 million in 1999, as well as increase assets to $408 million from $358 million during the same period. Occidente has a 6

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