November 1, 2008
All this growth, however, has pressed the banks capital at a time when funds are hard to find. Profitability, measured by a ROA of 2.0% and ROE of 24.2%, was below the system averages of 2.4% and 30.1%, respectively, as of June. Industrials challenge is the same as the rest of the countrys banks: maintaining strong capital levels, says Guevara, adding that Guatemalas system is among the isthmus least capitalized. This years purchase of Banco del Pais, Honduras fifth-largest, is part of a regional expansion drive. Industrial officially opened an El Salvador arm in September, and a larger presence in southern Mexico is in the works. Aggress
Banco Industrial’s acquisitions of Banco del Occidente in 2006, Banco del Comercio in 2007 and Banco Quetzal this year, make it king of a fragmented but quickly consolidating market. It now commands a 28% share in Guatemala, according to the bank, with assets of $5.4 billion as of June. Industrial is also the largest bank at a time when there is an investor flight to quality, says Marvin Guevara, analyst at Fitch. This has resulted in a large increase in deposits over the past two years compared to other banks, despite system-wide troubles.