Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. ("BLADEX") Reports First Quarter 2001 Results

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A.

    PANAMA CITY, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Latinoamericano de
 Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE:   BLX) ("BLADEX" or the "Bank"), a specialized
 multinational bank established to finance trade in the Latin American and the
 Caribbean region, today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31,
 2001.  Net income for the quarter was $27.1 million, compared with
 $26.1 million reported in the first quarter of 2000.  Earnings per common
 share after preferred dividends were $1.42 for the first quarter, compared
 with $1.29 in the first quarter of 2000.
     The average number of common shares outstanding for the first quarter of
 2001 was 18,898,091 shares compared to 19,915,188 shares for the first quarter
 of 2000.
     Compared with the fourth quarter of 2000, net income for the first quarter
 of 2001 rose 19% and earnings per common share after preferred dividends
 increased by 22%.
     Commenting on the Bank's performance, Jose Castaneda, chief executive
 officer, said, "BLADEX's results in the first quarter of 2001 are encouraging
 and reflect the progress we are making in transforming BLADEX into a more
 proactive and agile competitor in the Latin American marketplace. The Bank
 today is a different organization than it was in the first quarter of 2000.
 Because most changes in the Bank's business have been effected over the last
 few quarters, to fully understand the impact of such changes, it would make
 more sense to compare the Bank's performance in the first quarter of 2001 to
 its performance in the preceding quarters, rather than to compare the Bank's
 performance today with its performance in the first quarter of 2000."
     "For instance, while our average credit portfolio in the first quarter of
 2001 increased 13% from the average credit portfolio in the first quarter of
 2000, the increased rate of the credit portfolio growth is evident in the 5%
 increase in average credit portfolio growth in this quarter compared with the
 fourth quarter of 2000.  Similarly, the net interest margin and net interest
 spread in the first quarter of 2001 increased compared to the fourth quarter
 of 2000.  Most important, BLADEX achieved such growth with continued focus and
 emphasis on asset quality."
     "Earnings in the first quarter increased by $1.8 million reflecting the
 adoption as of January 1, 2001, of SFAS 133 and 138 dealing with the fair
 market value of all derivative instruments on the balance sheet.  The fair
 market valuation of certain options raised earnings $1.3 million and the fair
 market value of derivatives used in the Bank's hedging activities added
 $0.5 million to earnings.  The Bank's equity accounts were positively impacted
 by $1.1 million, relating to the mark-to-market of the assets available for
 sale.  The Bank's policy is not to engage in hedging activities or maintain
 derivative positions other than routine swaps to hedge existing normal
 currency and interest rate positions."
     "Our operating expenses were down 8% compared to the prior quarter.
 However, during the first quarter of 2001 we continued our plan of investment
 in people and the Bank's operating infrastructure in order to further improve
 our customer service capability.  Further, in the last year, we have taken
 
 steps to increase our presence in the Mexican and Brazilian markets by opening
 representative offices in these markets. BLADEX professionals in those offices
 are already building relationships and generating business with creditworthy
 companies in the region.  The new transaction unit established in New York
 will give the Bank the capacity to structure and distribute assets and expand
 its business by offering new products and financial solutions to its clients.
 Our plan is to continue to make additional investments in the Bank's
 infrastructure capabilities that would improve customer service by decreasing
 the time required to authorize new loans and commitments, thereby making
 BLADEX more competitive."
     Under the share repurchase program, which started in early December 2000,
 the Bank has repurchased to date 611,700 Class E common shares and 208,391
 Class A common shares (which are not publicly traded), for a total of
 $27.0 million.  During the first quarter of this year, the Bank repurchased
 393,900 Class E common shares and 160,094 Class A common shares for a total of
 $18.6 million.  During the 15-month period ending March 31, 2001, the Bank
 paid cash dividends in an amount of $58.7 million and repurchased common
 shares in an aggregate amount of $39.4 million, including the repurchase of
 $6.9 million Class A common shares, $15.7 million Class B common shares and
 $16.8 million Class E common shares.
 
     Financial Highlights (in US$ millions, except percentages and per share
 amounts)
 
                                        IQ01             IQ00        Change
 
     Net revenues (net interest
       income plus commission income)   35.1            36.1           -3%
     Net interest income                30.6            29.0            6%
     Commission income                   4.4             7.1          -38%
     Net income                         27.1            26.1            4%
     EPS                                1.42            1.29           10%
     Commission income to commission
       expenses plus operating expenses  74%            137%          -46%
     Operating expenses to net
      interest income plus commission
      income                           16.1%           13.5%           19%
     Return on equity                  15.6%           15.2%            2%
 
     Avg. credit portfolio, net of
       unearned discount               6,649           5,899           13%
     Net interest margin               2.17%           2.36%           -8%
 
 
     BLADEX, with $6.0 billion in assets, is a specialized multinational bank
 established to finance trade in the Latin American and Caribbean region.  Its
 shareholders include central banks from 23 countries in the region and 173
 commercial banks (from the region, as well as international banks) and private
 investors.  Its mission is to channel funds for the development of Latin
 America and the Caribbean, and to provide integrated solutions for the
 promotion of the region's exports.  BLADEX is listed on the New York Stock
 Exchange.  Further investor information can be found at www.blx.com
 
     A LONGER VERSION OF THIS PRESS RELEASE WITH DETAILED INFORMATION HAS BEEN
 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, Panama
     Attention: Carlos Yap, Vice President, Finance
     Tel. No. (507) 210-8581, e-mail: cyap@blx.com
 
     -or-
 
 
     The Galvin Partnership, 67 Mason Street, Greenwich , CT 06830
     Attention: William W. Galvin
     Tel. No. (203) 618-9800, e-mail: wwg@galvinpartners.com
 
 

SOURCE Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A.
    PANAMA CITY, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Latinoamericano de
 Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE:   BLX) ("BLADEX" or the "Bank"), a specialized
 multinational bank established to finance trade in the Latin American and the
 Caribbean region, today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31,
 2001.  Net income for the quarter was $27.1 million, compared with
 $26.1 million reported in the first quarter of 2000.  Earnings per common
 share after preferred dividends were $1.42 for the first quarter, compared
 with $1.29 in the first quarter of 2000.
     The average number of common shares outstanding for the first quarter of
 2001 was 18,898,091 shares compared to 19,915,188 shares for the first quarter
 of 2000.
     Compared with the fourth quarter of 2000, net income for the first quarter
 of 2001 rose 19% and earnings per common share after preferred dividends
 increased by 22%.
     Commenting on the Bank's performance, Jose Castaneda, chief executive
 officer, said, "BLADEX's results in the first quarter of 2001 are encouraging
 and reflect the progress we are making in transforming BLADEX into a more
 proactive and agile competitor in the Latin American marketplace. The Bank
 today is a different organization than it was in the first quarter of 2000.
 Because most changes in the Bank's business have been effected over the last
 few quarters, to fully understand the impact of such changes, it would make
 more sense to compare the Bank's performance in the first quarter of 2001 to
 its performance in the preceding quarters, rather than to compare the Bank's
 performance today with its performance in the first quarter of 2000."
     "For instance, while our average credit portfolio in the first quarter of
 2001 increased 13% from the average credit portfolio in the first quarter of
 2000, the increased rate of the credit portfolio growth is evident in the 5%
 increase in average credit portfolio growth in this quarter compared with the
 fourth quarter of 2000.  Similarly, the net interest margin and net interest
 spread in the first quarter of 2001 increased compared to the fourth quarter
 of 2000.  Most important, BLADEX achieved such growth with continued focus and
 emphasis on asset quality."
     "Earnings in the first quarter increased by $1.8 million reflecting the
 adoption as of January 1, 2001, of SFAS 133 and 138 dealing with the fair
 market value of all derivative instruments on the balance sheet.  The fair
 market valuation of certain options raised earnings $1.3 million and the fair
 market value of derivatives used in the Bank's hedging activities added
 $0.5 million to earnings.  The Bank's equity accounts were positively impacted
 by $1.1 million, relating to the mark-to-market of the assets available for
 sale.  The Bank's policy is not to engage in hedging activities or maintain
 derivative positions other than routine swaps to hedge existing normal
 currency and interest rate positions."
     "Our operating expenses were down 8% compared to the prior quarter.
 However, during the first quarter of 2001 we continued our plan of investment
 in people and the Bank's operating infrastructure in order to further improve
 our customer service capability.  Further, in the last year, we have taken
 
 steps to increase our presence in the Mexican and Brazilian markets by opening
 representative offices in these markets. BLADEX professionals in those offices
 are already building relationships and generating business with creditworthy
 companies in the region.  The new transaction unit established in New York
 will give the Bank the capacity to structure and distribute assets and expand
 its business by offering new products and financial solutions to its clients.
 Our plan is to continue to make additional investments in the Bank's
 infrastructure capabilities that would improve customer service by decreasing
 the time required to authorize new loans and commitments, thereby making
 BLADEX more competitive."
     Under the share repurchase program, which started in early December 2000,
 the Bank has repurchased to date 611,700 Class E common shares and 208,391
 Class A common shares (which are not publicly traded), for a total of
 $27.0 million.  During the first quarter of this year, the Bank repurchased
 393,900 Class E common shares and 160,094 Class A common shares for a total of
 $18.6 million.  During the 15-month period ending March 31, 2001, the Bank
 paid cash dividends in an amount of $58.7 million and repurchased common
 shares in an aggregate amount of $39.4 million, including the repurchase of
 $6.9 million Class A common shares, $15.7 million Class B common shares and
 $16.8 million Class E common shares.
 
     Financial Highlights (in US$ millions, except percentages and per share
 amounts)
 
                                        IQ01             IQ00        Change
 
     Net revenues (net interest
       income plus commission income)   35.1            36.1           -3%
     Net interest income                30.6            29.0            6%
     Commission income                   4.4             7.1          -38%
     Net income                         27.1            26.1            4%
     EPS                                1.42            1.29           10%
     Commission income to commission
       expenses plus operating expenses  74%            137%          -46%
     Operating expenses to net
      interest income plus commission
      income                           16.1%           13.5%           19%
     Return on equity                  15.6%           15.2%            2%
 
     Avg. credit portfolio, net of
       unearned discount               6,649           5,899           13%
     Net interest margin               2.17%           2.36%           -8%
 
 
     BLADEX, with $6.0 billion in assets, is a specialized multinational bank
 established to finance trade in the Latin American and Caribbean region.  Its
 shareholders include central banks from 23 countries in the region and 173
 commercial banks (from the region, as well as international banks) and private
 investors.  Its mission is to channel funds for the development of Latin
 America and the Caribbean, and to provide integrated solutions for the
 promotion of the region's exports.  BLADEX is listed on the New York Stock
 Exchange.  Further investor information can be found at www.blx.com
 
     A LONGER VERSION OF THIS PRESS RELEASE WITH DETAILED INFORMATION HAS BEEN
 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, Panama
     Attention: Carlos Yap, Vice President, Finance
     Tel. No. (507) 210-8581, e-mail: cyap@blx.com
 
     -or-
 
 
     The Galvin Partnership, 67 Mason Street, Greenwich , CT 06830
     Attention: William W. Galvin
     Tel. No. (203) 618-9800, e-mail: wwg@galvinpartners.com
 
 SOURCE  Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A.