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Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:26 am EDT

Bladex Reports 4th Qtr and Annual Income 2005

Money Matters PANAMA CITY, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE: BLX) ("Bladex" or the "Bank") announced today its results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2005. Fourth Quarter 2005 Financial Highlights: -- Credit disbursements increased 12% to US$2.3 billion; the credit portfolio increased 6% to US$3.6 billion; the trade portfolio increased 3% to US$2.6 billion. -- Driven by lower reversals of credit provisions and impairment losses, net income for the quarter decreased 17% to US$16 million. Excluding the impact of reversal of credit provisions and impairment losses, net income increased 23% to US$9 million. Full Year 2005 Financial Highlights: -- Credit disbursements increased 47% to US$6.8 billion; the credit portfolio increased 23%; the trade portfolio increased 21%. Excluding the impact of the collection of impaired credits, the credit portfolio increased 35%. -- Driven by lower reversals of credit provisions and impairment losses, net income was US$80 million, compared to US$142 million in 2004. Excluding the impact of provision reversals and net revenues from the impaired portfolio, net income grew by 42%. -- During the year, 84% of the impaired portfolio in Argentina was collected. December 31, 2005, balances, net of reserves, were US$17 million. PANAMA CITY, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Banco Latinoamericano de
Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE: BLX) ("Bladex" or the "Bank") announced today its
results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2005.

The table below depicts selected key figures and ratios for the periods
indicated (the Bank's financial statements are prepared in accordance with
U.S. GAAP, and all figures are stated in U.S. dollars):

Key Financial Figures
(US$ million, except
percentages and
per share amounts) 2004 2005 4Q04 3Q05 4Q05
Net Income $141.7 $80.1 $53.9 $19.9 $16.4
EPS (1) $3.61 $2.08 $1.39 $0.52 $0.43
Return on
Average Equity 22.8% 12.9% 33.1% 13.0% 10.6%
Tier 1 Capital Ratio 42.9% 33.7% 42.9% 38.2% 33.7%
Net Interest Margin 1.65% 1.70% 1.46% 1.78% 1.77%
Book Value
per common share $16.87 $16.19 $16.87 $16.00 $16.19

(1) Earnings per share calculations are based on the average number of
shares outstanding during each period.

Comments from the Chief Executive Officer
Jaime Rivera, CEO of Bladex, stated the following regarding the quarter's
results: "The fourth quarter marked a fitting end to a solid year. As was the
case in the third quarter, all relevant indicators moved in the right
direction. The results were driven by a continued rise in our volume of
business, with over US$2.3 billion in disbursements, 12% above the previous
quarter's already solid results. With thin but steady margins, commission
income on the rise, and gains in the securities portfolio, the increasing
revenues offset both seasonal and one-time increases in quarterly expenses.
The resulting operating income totaled close to US$9 million, 23% higher than
in the third quarter. In addition, during the fourth quarter, non-accrual
balances dropped by 39% to US$42 million.
"For the year, the US$80 million net income figure was driven by a number
of important business drivers working in the Bank's favor, and only a few
minor ones lagging our expectations. Among the former, we have resolved
nearly in full our impaired Argentine portfolio and grown both our volume of
business and operating profit. Significantly, during 2005, operating income
from the impaired portfolio represented only 20% of our total operating
income, versus 45% a year earlier. Items working against us during the year
included the negotiations geared around the Bank's digital identity project
which, although successful, took longer than anticipated, and our payments
revenue stream, which remains small, in spite of increasing volumes.
"From a stockholder perspective, we are glad to have shared the company's
success via the recently announced extraordinary dividend and increased
quarterly common dividends. The principle behind our capital management
strategy remains unchanged: we will privilege financial strength, growth and
investments, and return capital not needed to our shareholders.
"For 2006, our business strategy remains unchanged as well: more products
to more clients, within an external environment that, other than continued
pressure on credit spreads, is largely expected to be favorable. We will
continue working on client diversification, and on deploying the new
initiatives that we have announced."

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements of expected future
developments. The Bank wishes to ensure that such statements are accompanied
by meaningful cautionary statements pursuant to the safe harbor established by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking
statements in this press release refer to the growth of the trade portfolio,
the increase in the number of the Bank's clients, the increase in activities
engaged in by the Bank that are derived from the Bank's trade finance client
base, anticipated operating income in future periods, the improvement in the
financial strength of the Bank and the progress the Bank is making. These
forward-looking statements reflect the expectations of the Bank's management
and are based on currently available data; however, actual experience with
respect to these factors is subject to future events and uncertainties, which
could materially impact the Bank's expectations. Among the factors that can
cause actual performance and results to differ materially are as follows: the
anticipated growth of the Bank's credit portfolio; the continuation of the
Bank's preferred creditor status; the impact of increasing interest rates on
the Bank's financial condition; the execution of the Bank's strategies and
initiatives, including its revenue diversification strategy; the pending
applications in the United States to open a representative office in Miami,
Florida; the adequacy of the Bank's allowance for credit losses; the need for
additional provisions for credit losses; the Bank's ability to achieve future
growth, to reduce its liquidity levels and increase its leverage; the Bank's
ability to maintain its investment-grade credit ratings; the availability and
mix of future sources of funding for the Bank's lending operations; the
possibility of fraud; and the adequacy of the Bank's sources of liquidity to
replace large deposit withdrawals.

About Bladex
Bladex is a supranational bank originally established by the Central Banks
of Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote trade finance in the
Region. Based in Panama, its shareholders include central banks and state-
owned entities in 23 countries in the Region, as well as Latin American and
international commercial banks, along with institutional and retail investors.
Through December 31, 2005, Bladex had disbursed accumulated credits of over
US$135 billion.

Bladex is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Further investor
information can be found at .

A longer version of this press release with detailed information will be
filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and can be
obtained from Bladex at:

Bladex, Head Office, Calle 50 y Aquilino de la Guardia
Panama City, Panama
Attention: Carlos Yap, Senior Vice President, Finance
+1-507-210-8563, e-mail:,


Investor Relations Firm
i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc.
Melanie Carpenter / Peter Majeski
+1-212-406-3690, e-mail:

Conference Call Information
There will be a conference call to discuss the Bank's quarterly and annual
results on February 16, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

For those interested in participating, please dial
United States: (800) 311-0799
Outside the United States: (719) 457-2695.
Participants should use conference ID# 8004473, and dial in five minutes
before the call is set to begin.
There will also be a live audio Webcast of the conference at .

SOURCE Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A.
Web Site:

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