This chapter includes the following articles.
High economic growth over the past few years has benefitted Panama’s banking sector, which has shown a strong and stable performance. From the third quarter of 2012 to the same period in 2013 there was a 12% increase in total assets, with liquid assets registering the highest growth, at 22%. Assets, deposits and credit continue to grow, although profitability indicators are showing signs of deceleration. With a dollarised economy and free mobility of capital flows, Panama’s highly internationalised capital markets are also showing signs of expansion. In 2013 the traded volume of stocks increased 7% compared to the previous year, reaching $120m. The public sector plays a central role, with a volume of issuance that can make the market vacillate between good and bad years, as happened in 2012-13. Even so, Panama has significant potential to serve as a regional base for international financial institutions operating in global financial markets. This chapter features interviews with Rubens V Amaral Jr, CEO, Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior; Augusto Restrepo, Vice-President, Bancolombia; and Raúl Alemán, General Manager, Banco General.