Brazil’s largest independent investment bank announced yesterday that it has applied to open a commercial bank in Peru.
BTG Pactual has operated on a smaller scale in Peru for two years, but hopes to offer new products and increase its loan portfolio after obtaining a commercial banking license from Peru’s banking authority. The bank stated that it hopes to open in 2016 with the aim of focusing on infrastructure development with medium and large companies.
BTG Pactual CEO, Andre Esteves, told El Comercio that Peru’s greatest potential does not lie in mining, but its growing middle class. “The region has the privilege of having a rich presence of natural resources, but the real story we see is the societal change to a greater middle class participation.”
The bank is looking for new opportunities after poor financial results in Brazil’s tightening credit market and exposure to companies involved in a corruption scandal surrounding state oil firm, Petrobras.
Peru’s GDP in 2014 grew 2.35 percent, the slowest since 2009. After adjusting 2015 forecasts downward to 4 percent, Ollanta Humala’s government has signaled that it will increase public investment in infrastructure to maintain growth.
No other bank has operations in all four countries of the Pacific Alliance political bloc, which includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.