The Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo attracted the most FDI into its financial sector in Latin American and Caribbean cities in 2013, while Caracas in Venezuela was the surprise leader in the outflows table.

São Paulo attracted by far the largest level of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the financial services sector in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013, with a total of $1.81bn and six projects. The second placed city, Bogotá, attracted only one-third of that capital expenditure, with a total of $654.4m, and five projects. In terms of job creation, however, projects being developed in Colombia’s capital have a much higher impact than those in São Paulo. Projects being developed in Bogotá have generated what is expected to be an eventual 3224 jobs against the 267 in São Paulo.

The largest individual project in the region in 2013 was the creation of an innovation centre in Bogotá by Madrid-based lender BBVA, which required $520m in capital expenditure and is expected to create a total of 3000 new jobs, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.

Although Mexico City is often seen as São Paulo’s main regional rival when it comes to attracting investment into the financial sector, the Mexican capital only finishes in fourth place in the inbound FDI list, with $117.2m and four projects. Mexico City sits behind Dominican Republic capital Santo Domingo, which had $164.1m-worth of investment and six projects. Despite the economic and political unpredictability in Argentina, Buenos Aires has also scored well, finishing in fifth place with $101.2m in capital expenditure and four projects.

The Venezuelan capital of Caracas sits top of the FDI outflows table. The city generated a total of $212.5m-worth of investment across six projects. These were mostly generated by Banesco Banco Universal, which plans to open 70 new branches in Spain for a total investment of $70m. The project, carried out through the bank’s subsidiary Banco Etcheverria, would generate 200 new jobs in the European country. The Venezuelan bank has also opened new branches in the Dominican Republic (through three separate projects and an estimated total invested of about $90m) as well as a new branch in Panama.

The second largest centre by FDI outflows is Bermuda’s Hamilton, with $194.8m invested over eight projects in the asset management and insurance sectors, which was directed mainly to the UK, Japan, Uruguay, the US and Canada.

FDI into Financial services in Latin America and Caribbean


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