BANK ASSETS FALL 7.5%.
Banks operating in Panama saw their assets fall 7.5% during the
first quarter of 2002, a reflection mostly of the political and economic
crisis in Argentina and economic uncertainty in the Brazilian market,
the Government said, reports Reuters (July 31, 2002). Total assets in
the January-July period were US$34.774 billion, down US$2.834 billion
over the same period in 2001. More than 100 banking institutions operate
in Panama, including global banking group HSBC Holdings Plc , Spanish
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) , the Dresdner Bank, and the
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones. Local assets in Panama fell
US$939 million in the first quarter.