ANNUAL SURVEY: EMERGING MARKET BANKS: LATAM by ProQuest

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Banco Santander bet on Brazil and won. Despite a challenging economic environment, including a 2% drop in attributable profit in Mexico and a rise in its Latin American non-performing loans (NPL) ratio from 1.87% in 2007 to 2.95% in 2008, the bank consolidated its position as Latin America's largest and most reputable banking franchise. Santander's Latin American branch network grew from 4,498 branches in 2007 to 6,089 in 2008, accounting for nearly 50% of the bank's worldwide total of 13,390. Meanwhile, Colombia's largest bank, Bancolombia, also has the country's most extensive distribution network, with 717 branches and 2,355 ATMs in more than 602 Colombian communities. As the first and only Colombian bank listed on the NYSE, Bancolombia has always had both a domestic and a global vision. El Salvador's Banco Agricola in 2007, giving it instant access to Central American markets and adding geographic diversity to its balance sheet.

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