Negative view of Latin America is wrong, defends president of Grupo Santander

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Negative view of Latin America is wrong, defends president of Grupo Santander

Latin American countries have undergone an important evolution in the economic, social and political fields over the last decades, and are well positioned on a global scale to continue growing in 2022.

The assessment is made by Ana Botín, president of Grupo Santander. She says she does not agree with the more negative view, which she perceives, from the market, in relation to the region for the coming years.

“This very negative view [sobre América Latina] it is one of the many fake news, because it seems to say that in the last three decades there have been no social, economic or political advances in the region,” said the executive, during a virtual press conference this Wednesday (15). “Asset prices [no Brasil] they are devaluing and the currency is an opportunity in our opinion,” said the president of Grupo Santander.

According to her, the advance in the financial conditions of the population in general since the 1990s, with the entry of thousands of people into the C class, has significantly contributed to the growth of the bank’s operations in the region so far, and should continue as an important factor for the business.

“Many people told us we were wrong when we bought Banespa, they didn’t expect us to get the results we got,” he said. “We know that crises are fleeting.”

In the assessment of the president of Grupo Santander, the political cycle in which several large Latin American countries find themselves will be based on the candidates’ proposals to expand the levels of development and equity demanded by the growing middle class.

“Today, Latin America is a better region than in the 1990s,” said the executive, adding that most countries in the region have not gone through banking or sovereign crises over the last decade.

“For Santander, Latin America is much more than a market, it is part of our history, our present, and obviously also our future.”

She also said that the growth of Latin American economic activity is deeply related to the dynamics observed in global markets. And international conditions still seem favorable for 2022, pointed out the executive.

Although with some adjustment planned for the coming months, the president of Grupo Santander highlighted that commodity prices should remain at high levels, while interest rates in the United States will remain at very low levels.

President of Santander Brasil, Sérgio Rial added that Brazil is included in the long-term strategy of the financial institution of Spanish origin.

“When we bought Banespa and paid R$7 billion at that time, many people thought it was crazy. And today history has proven that in the long term, with good management, Brazil is a wonderful place for you to invest,” he said Rial, who in January 2022 assumes the presidency of the board of directors of Santander Brasil, being replaced by Mário Leão, currently in charge of the bank’s wholesale area.

Leão said that the heated moment for the infrastructure sector, in areas such as energy and sanitation, has been an important channel to attract the attention of European and Asian investors to the region. “This is a Brazil that has certainly worked, of concessions, of PPPs [parcerias público-privada], of privatizations,” said Leão.

“Santander has been a conduit through which Brazilian authorities have gone to Europe through Spain to seek investments,” he added.

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