If you had any doubts about where the smart money is moving globally, you might want to take a look at Grupo Santander, the largest bank in the Euro-zone and one of the largest banks in the world.
In recent interviews with everyone from Bloomberg to El Pais, Santander officials are understandably bullish on Argentina, Brazil and Latin America in general…so much so bank executives feel the region will outperform Asia in the coming years.
Santander’s Director for the region Francisco Luzon sees the XXI century as Latin America’s inflection point: “In this century, Latin America will move beyond being a ‘developing’ region. Latin America has talent and structural competitive advantages that will make it a winner in the XXI century.” Luzon believes Latin America is the region best positioned to benefit from the process of globalization, while banks like Santander are well positioned to capitalize on the continued bancarizacion of LatAm.
Santander estimates the financial systems of the seven core Latin countries, Brasil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia y Uruguay, have a current valuation of US$500 billion and could reach $1 trillion by 2015. If full-year projections for 2010 are any indication of what’s to come, it’s easy to understand why a bank like Santander sees the future in Latin America. According to Bloomberg, the region will account for 45% of the bank’s profit this year, up from 39% in 2009.
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