Americas - Banking and finance in North America, South America & Central America -

Latest articles from Americas

Latin America pins debt hopes on US liquidity

October 4, 2004

The effects of an increase in US interest rates on the Latin American economy may be neutralised if the US can also deliver strong economic growth, writes Monica Campbell.

El Salvador

September 2, 2004

Banco Cuscatlan

Bondholders fight back

August 2, 2004

Two and a half years after Argentina’s debt default, creditors are up in arms over the country’s offer to pay back only a quarter of the Ł82bn it owes. But the government has so far refused to budge. Sophie Roell reports.
It’s not a promising sign in any negotiations when one party is not willing to talk to the other and both sides seem as unreasonable as each other. Furious with the paltry amount the Argentine government is offering for the $82bn in debt it defaulted on in December 2001, the Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders (GCAB), grouping together holders of about $37bn in debt, is fighting back with its own idea of a fair settlement.

Marriages face a rocky future

August 2, 2004

A newly-elected minority Liberal government has left the prospects for Canadian bank mergers looking uncertain. Sheldon Gordon reports from Toronto. Canada’s general election on June 28 produced the worst possible outcome for the country’s banking sector. Prime minister Paul Martin’s Liberals were returned to office but, with only a plurality of the seats, they will have to cater to two smaller, left-wing parties in order to command a majority in parliament. Bankers would clearly have preferred the stability of a clear-cut victory by either Mr Martin’s Liberals or their main opponent, the Conservative Party.

Mexican bank accord eases bad debt spat

August 2, 2004

One of the thorniest chapters of Mexico’s 1994-95 financial meltdown may be closing. In mid-July, four of the country’s biggest foreign-owned banks – Citigroup-controlled Banamex, HSBC of the UK, BBVA Bancomer, the local unit of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and Mexican-run Banorte – agreed to absorb nearly $830m in bad loans that the government took on in return for bonds in order to help save the banks following the peso crash.

Shaken but still standing

July 2, 2004

In the past decade, the Bolivian banking system has faced economic crises brought on by social unrest but has withstood them. Jason Mitchell reports from La Paz.

Bermuda opens up to foreigners

June 2, 2004

Bermuda is relaxing its rules on foreign ownership of banks, witnessed by HSBC’s recent acquisition of Bank of Bermuda. Mairi Mallon reports on changing times.
Walking into one of the two main banks in Bermuda is like going back in time to England in the 1970s. The doorman knows many customers by name and long queues form every Friday as customers deposit their weekly pay cheques.

Can-do attitude

June 2, 2004

Luiz Fernando Furlan, Brazil’s minister of state for development, industry and foreign trade, tells Brian Caplen that his country’s approach to trade is positive.

Chase is on for the whole enchilada

June 2, 2004

Mexico’s prospects look bright but, as Monica Campbell reports, politicians are resentful that the dominant – and prosperous – foreign banks are not doing enough to help the local population.

Does Iraq herald America’s last stand?

June 2, 2004

While the US gets further embroiled in Iraq, economies such as China and Brazil are starting to assert themselves.