In the News from Panama

‘Robust’ Growth Predicted for Panama Banks

Panama’s growing economy is good news for Panama’s banking industry, according to a new report.

The country wealth management sector is expected to grow by 10 percent in 2019, reflecting the stable business sector and the growing international interest in the country, according to the report by Paredes de Chapman. The election of President Laurentino Cortizo and several large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the new bridge over the Panama Canal, are also good signs, according to a report by Global Finance magazine.

The private banking sector “has strong potential and has grown at an important rate in the past few years,” Monica Garcia de Paredes de Chapman, v.p. of private banking at Global Bank.

Panama’s economy is expected to grow by 5 percent this year, far surpassing the large economies in the region. The “robust” financial system, tax exemptions on capital gains and bank capital ratios above 30 percent above requirements “should boost international investors’ interest in Panama’s investment product,” the agency said.

 Credit in the banking sector is expected to grow 8 percent this year and increase to 9 percent in 2020, analysts told Global Finance.

 “Banks are well positioned in terms of capital, profitability, asset quality and in general, to continue growing,” Moody’s senior analyst Jose Montano said recently.

 Cortizo’s election is seen as good news for the banking sector, Global Finance reports.

“We are going to be better off with Cortizo,” Ana Lorena Carrizo, a risk analyst at ratings firm Equilibrium told the publication. “He has a plan to boost the agricultural, healthcare industry and tourism, as well as exports.”