Top 4 banks see profits jump 15%

Monday, November 10, 2003

Profits at Peru's four largest banks rose 15% to a combined 391mn soles (US$112mn) this year through September, compared to the same year-ago period, according to the latest statistics from the country's securities regulator Conasev.

According to the regulator, the banks - Credito, Wiese Sudameris, BBVA Continental and Interbank - registered profits despite an overall fall in revenue, which was compensated for by a reduction in expenses.

During January-September this year, the banks posted revenue totaling 630mn soles, down 8.1% compared to the same period 2002, although financial expenses also fell year-on-year 12% to 771 soles at end-September.

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As a result, the banks' operating margin grew 19% to reach 918mn soles, Conasev said.

Peru's financial system could be set to welcome five new players pending regulatory approval, local daily Editora Peru quoted banking and insurance regulator Juan Jose Marthans as saying.

The five applying to enter Peru's banking system are three financial institutions from Latin America and two from Europe, Marthans said, adding that interest from abroad verifies the stability of the local banking industry.