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We’ll be ok…

22 November 2008

… though Mexico (being too closely tied to U.S. markets may have a harder time), according to thems that knows:

Francisco González, president of the Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Bank, (BBVA) said that although the global outlook remains uncertain, Latinamerica is better prepared than in past international crisis mainly because of strong sound advances.

Speaking at the X Latibex Forum in Madrid, Gonzalez mentioned among the positive advances lesser indebtedness, higher international reserves (taking advantage of soaring commodity prices); balanced budgets and current accounts, plus stricter banking supervision which means the region has no major distortions regarding monetary and debt payments policies.

Besides the region‘s economies, working on the reforms of the nineties, are far more open, the private sector and investments have a more dynamic role, together with an overall improved macroeconomic discipline.

González said that for BBVA Latinamerica remains “a strong source of long term growth” because of its young population, improved education and availability of commodities.

On the negative side Gonzalez mentioned certain risks such as the concentration of exports in a few commodities and “big spaces of informality” in the economy which limits financial services access to individuals and small companies.

Gonzalez revealed that BBVA has invested over 14 billion US dollars in Latinamerica, where it has 26 million clients and 5 million in pension funds plus 60% of the bank’s total staff of over 66.000.

“We are intent in growing in Iberoamerica and we believe that the BBVA group has become a significant asset for Latinamerica”, he underlined.

Latibex is an annual event held in Madrid which brings together the CEO of 60 of Spain’s and Latinamerica’s leading companies.

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