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The net profit of the International Banking Center (CBI) of Panama reached 670 million dollars at the end of last April, 10.6 percent more than in the same month of the previous year, reported today the Superintendency of Banks.
"The rise in the net income is the result of increases in non-recurring financial income, such as the purchase and sale of securities and operations with derivative instruments," the banking regulator said in a report released Friday.
The CBI, which includes almost 90 general and international license banks, closed last April "with a total of assets of 118,666 million dollars," according to official information.
The banks "maintain improvements in their level of recurring income, which has been accompanied by the development of more robust and profitable franchises," said the Superintendency.
It stated that it is foreseen that "the income will remain strengthened thanks to the better net interest income, which grew 4 percent during the first quarter, and the lower operating expenses that occur in a context where the entities will try to improve their business models in the midst of increasing competition among banks".
On the other hand, the results at the level of the National Banking System, excluding the international license banks, reflected a profit of 512 million dollars last April, 13 percent more than in the same period last year, said the Superintendency.
It added that both the liquid assets of the CBI and the National Banking System "showed a reduction explained based on the behavior of the external component, which occurs as a consequence of the decrease in external deposits".
"It should be noted that much of this reduction is based on the decrease in the external operations of a single bank of foreign capital," added the regulator, with the only precision that it was "intra-group movements as a result of the redirection of resources in search of more profitable operations".
The profits of the International Banking Center of Panama totaled 1,797 million dollars at the end of 2017, with a "record" growth of 17.9 percent over the previous year, according to data from the Superintendency.
Panama's economy grew by 5.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, up from 5 percent the previous year, and is expected to do so this year at around 4.5 percent.