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Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones SA (NYSE:BLX)

Q3 2007 Earnings Call

October 22, 2007 11:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Melanie Carpenter - Managing Partner, i-advize Corporate Communications

Jaime Rivera - CEO

Carlos Yap - CFO

Analysts

Juan Partida - JP Morgan

Titolo Barlow - Deutsche Bank

Anurag Bhagwanji

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the Bladex's Conference Call. My name is Melissa, and I'll be your conference operator. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker's remarks there will be a question-and-answer period. At this time, it is my pleasure to turn the floor over to Ms. Melanie Carpenter of i-advize Corporate Communications. Ms. Carpenter, you may begin.

Melanie Carpenter

Thank you. Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Bladex's third quarter 2007 conference call. This is October 22 of 2007. This call is for investors only and if you remember the media is invited to listen-only, but remember, if you have any questions just follow-up with i-advize after the call.

Joining us today from Panama City, is Mr. Jaime Rivera, the CEO of Bladex and Mr. Carlos Yap, the CFO of Bladex. Their comments are based on the earnings release that we issued this morning. A copy of the long version is available on the website at blx.com in the investor relations section. But if you have any question today please call i-advize in New York at 212-406-3692.

Any comment that management makes today may include forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. It's based on information and data that's currently available. However, the actual performance may differ due to various factors, and they are cited in the Safe Harbor statement and the press release, so please refer to that for guidance. And with that, I will turn it over to Mr. Jaime Rivera for the presentation. Please go ahead Jaime?

Jaime Rivera

Thank you, Melanie. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome once more to our quarterly conference call and thank you, once more for allocating your valuable time to listening about our company.

In regards to the purpose of our call, we would like to change it somewhat this time, particularly as it comes to the distribution or allocation of time. Well, it’s because of the events that have taken place or the so-called turbulence that has taken place in the market recently, I would like to spend some time concentrating or focusing a good portion of our comments on the conference on telling you about how the environment have behaved in Latin America and how that so-called turbulence has impacted our business. And we would like to do that because I hope we will convince you that the impact of the turbulence, that is being experienced in another parts of the world. Its quiet different and in fact, it's at the same level as for Bladex.

As usual, following my comments, Mr. Carlos Yap will take us through some of the details behind the figures for the quarter and then we will follow it up with your questions and answer whatever details you are interested in about the quarter.

So to the point then, let me start by stating the obvious and I would like to make it very clear because from what I understand and, in fact, I know there were many questions about this. Bladex does not have, never had, and is never going to have any exposure to US mortgage or subprime type of risk. Whatever is going on in the market has no bearing on the activities of Bladex. This is not the type of risk we take. We have known, we never will have any of this risk on our books.

So, having made that point clear, I thought I would step back a bit and go from painting a general picture of our market to slowly concentrate and focus on the details of each of our industry line as they relate or not to what's going on in the market.

Let me start by talking about macro-economy there, the macro-economy in Latin America. As regardless of what's going on in the market, countries in the region are doing relative well and you know this and it's well known, inflation while on the up tick in most countries, and at least throughout the world are still under control. Inflation therefore, is down, the fiscal accounts reasonably healthy. They are ample and growing in reserves of foreign exchange, which is quite a change, a dramatic change if you compare it to the situation from years ago when Central Banks were concerned about low levels of reserves. Banco's has turned it now just the opposite, which is of course, having [another impacted strength], I mean their current. Growth for the whole remains healthy. The people that know about these things tell us that growth for this year will slow somewhat in the last quarter and that for next year will slow even a bit further. And to tell you frankly, I haven’t felt it, I haven’t seen in the street, and our business hasn’t felt it either, even if growth is also down, there is a lot of cushion too, built in just to allow our business to continue growing. Trade flows continue unabated.

Latin America continued selling its product. They are in demand in the US and in the European Union and especially in Asia. And Latin Americans continue buying as consumer credit in general has improved and purchasing power of the population has improved as well.

For macro-economy, it is something that we keep an eye on. But it's not something that I think is going to be determinant for the bank in the near future.

The second macro issue pertains to politics. And politics in Latin America, I guess this is like everywhere. Rather like everywhere, the best I can say about politics is that in the region, as in the rest of the world, they are no worse than usual. Call it, stable and again not an issue. This is an environment that we can work with. It is not something that constitutes a primary concern for us.

So then, with that macro view out of the way, let me concentrate on something a bit more particular and that is to comment on our markets and particularly about the market segment, we work with. There are two main market segments we work with, the financial industry mainly banks and the corporations. Let me comment on each. The banks in the region are doing very well. For the most part, they are isolated from what’s going on in other parts of the world.

The credit portfolio remained strong. Credit demand particularly on the consumer side is increasing. Price remained high. Credit quality remained stable. In general, they were capitalized, well regulated. The situations of the bank were stable and most likely better than it was a year ago.

Importantly, liquidity in the region which has been a concern in other parts of the world has been less of a concern in Latin America because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, in the last decade, have seen the emergence of a fairly solid market of [fiber institutions, pension funds and the like], which provide additional liquidity in local currency.

Secondly, most banks are supported by funding in their retail branches and in the foremost either dollars, many of the banking systems in Latin America have a large realization percentage or in local currencies that are strong and that people have confidence in.

So therefore, again, bank is not an issue. I would not be surprised if a couple of them will have negative news to report on the trading operations during August, but nothing that will cause more than of a temporary stumble life on business as we go on further.

So, the second segment that we work with is corporations. And in the year ago, let's talk first about exporters. Exporters as I alluded before are benefiting from continued demand for the products that the region produces. Prices remained in general very high. Some of them are at historical peak. Profitability has become somewhat of an issue because of the strengthening local currencies has made their local currency cash flow more limited. But yes, they are so strongly capitalized and the margins are so wide that the companies are perfectly able to withstand its strength in their local currency.

Importantly as well, because most countries are suffering the same effect, the relative competitiveness of companies, say in Chile and companies in Peru are remaining largely unchanged. Everyone is facing the same problem that is an appreciating local currency. Again, very wide margins on sales are keeping them profitable and well-capitalized.

The other segment of the industry in Latin America that caters to the local market is doing very well as well. Couple of reasons, firstly, a couple of the major countries in the region particularly Brazil, have done a very good job improving the purchasing power of their people. Higher purchasing power has been translated well into purchases. And as a result, companies catered to local markets are doing well as well. These results are being fueled by extending and expanding credit penetration in the market.

Banking penetration in Latin America in general with couple of exceptions Panama and Chile probably, is still very low. So, there is still a lot of room for banks to expand. They are doing that and as they do that, they've fueled the purchasing power on the part of the public and as a result, companies have catered to the local markets that are doing well. So, the corporations in general, not an issue as well, credit quality, demand for credit is remaining stable and healthy.

So, within this picture what issues that I see as potential sources of trouble, trouble that could impact us. Firstly, I am worried about oil prices, I guess almost all of the oil prices are heading in only one direction and this might have a negative impact for those countries in the regions that produce no oil. The Congress of course will do what it takes for the countries that are oil exporters and this will become an issue and it might slow the growth in some of these countries down a bit.

Fortunately, the countries which are most at risk, are those in Central America in particular are befitting or starting to benefit strongly from inflows that followed from the Free Trade Agreement that has been signed, which to an extent, although not fully, are mitigating the impact of higher energy prices. But this might be an issue, noting that will spell a day and night difference for our business but it could be an issue.

The second thought of concern, certainly from my point of view is the possibility of slowdown that many people keep talking about in the United States and in the European Union and Asia. If this does in fact happen, and I quite frankly, I don't know about the United States and I don't know about the European Union but given what I saw in Asia just a month and a half ago, I just don't see that happening. But if I am in entirely wrong and things do slow down then economic growth in the region might fall from say 5%, 5.25% to 4%, 4.5%, still strong enough to support our business. I would be worried because slower growth from -- for the region would represent a loss of market share internationally. But that is a subject for another, more geopolitical type of debate.

Regarding the opportunities that business brought about for us and those are the threats but, well there are opportunities. Well a couple of things have gone our way, capital market -- local capital markets have been under strong pressure although they are coming back and some of the providers -- foreign providers of credit have withdrawn. What this has meant is there has been a relative decrease in competition and which has resulted in a general improvement in the pricing of our loans, something that we started to feel in earnest only during the second part of August. Apart from that perspective though this is, a welcome change particularly in -- because as I just said in our portfolio our quality remains very strong.

So now we have spoken about the region, we have spoken about industries and we have spoken about some of the opportunities and some of the threats. Let me be a bit -- even a bit more specific, and tell you about the impact of all of this on each of our business lines. And I'll do so and from the perspective that we manage the business. We manage the business thinking of three different books. We have a loan book. We have a securities book that is in essence is available for [statement portfolio] and we have an asset management book. Each of these has behaved differently as to regards to what's being happening in the market.

The loan book, and keep in mind by the nature the loan book is the slowest to react to changes in the direction of the winds. Still we're facing growing credit demands following again as a result of continued growth in [trade growth] and lesser competition. And therefore, margins have been improving. Importantly, I want to emphasize that credit quality remains strong in my opinion not only does credit quality remain strong it's probably stronger than it was a year before. We're having other than continuous credit demands or solid credit demand and improving margins. Our leasing operation has been growing quite nicely.

Remember, not too long ago we had no leasing operations, we now have over a $100 million in these type of assets and it's growing fairly quickly, and we're working on with this initiative that we announced last quarter having to do with establishing a factoring network in Latin America which we think will start playing a role in our intermediation activities next year. So from a point of view of our loan book, I would say that the wind is out on our back and the best part about it is that, we're capturing the wind with more sales. We now have a larger foothold, we have more clients. We can employ our resources and make use of higher margins and increased credit demand across a wider number of clients.

The loan book will grow therefore we'll grow particularly in terms of a profitability more so than CSI, more so than we've been doing so far. We're now being very stringent about pricing and keeping an eye on loan rate and in the end return on equity.

Regarding the associated sustainability of all of this that is, I believe that the question how long will prices continue to rise and how long will bank credit demand continue to improve, something I wouldn't dare. I don't have enough information to provide with yet.

I believe that towards the end of this quarter, we will have a better idea of whether we will be able to actually reprice the entire portfolio, if these things holds on, if these trend holds on for another couple or even three quarters, our whole portfolio, most of our short-term portfolio will have reprice at substantially higher spread which will make a big difference in our results for next year.

The second, we deal with, we managed the securities book which is available for sale portfolio. In the years where we applied the skill that result a very high of what we do and what we know how to do. We reengage credit risk and to benefit from overreaction from the part of the market side. It's been the case. It’s always the case that because of our different circumstances the market react by dropping the prices of credit that we believe are in fact very solid and given the volatility of last couple of months, this type of behavior has become even more pronounced. I think I read somewhere that the market is behaving like and I have got lesson and actually I think it is.

It's actually behaving like, we are saying or joking around here. It's actually behaving like adolescence after it has invested some amount of highly illegal substances. And as a result, the market has become very erratic, something, shown very good credit. We have got and achieved and when the adolescence market realizes that we have made a mistake and all then comes back because it always comes back, we sell and realize the gain. To this extent, the volatility in the market, actually works in our favor and of course, just as there is a case with the loan book, I expect the securities activity of the bank has to grow our loan with the loan book.

And the third book that we manage is the proprietary asset management book, and here is where we bring what we know about the Latin America on a macro basis to there, of course relating to things like country risk, currency risk et cetera. We make calls based on our feeling, on our knowledge of trends in the country on a macro level. Something that again, we believe we are very well positioned to do because we know the region quite well. It becomes exciting lately, you can imagine it was an exciting quarter not clearly because the correlation between Latin America and market risk and market risk in the US strengthen and it made more difficult for us to make best on Latin America and market risk without having at the same time, take on some US market risk where we know we have very little to add.

And as a result, we did what we thought was a prudent thing to do, we decreased the amount of our possessions, which still did okay, it’s a good business. We always knew it was going to be volatile; it's been profitable now for four quarters in a row and it provides a good complement to our loan book which is volatile and slower to react to market changes. Again, the three lines, loan book, the available for sale book and proprietary asset management operation make use of the core competency of the bank, our ability to gauge risk and trends in the region.

The asset management operation will also grow. It will grow not only because our net asset value is growing, and this is important, we have now received regulatory approval to take this to third party. So, when we do so, we plan to do so shortly, we hope to leverage that intellectual capital into management fees or third party management fees which will help the bottom-line of the bank.

So again, three books will grow. The environment, as it exists today, is actually playing in our favor. It’s a good picture overall and my concerns within the picture I just described are two. The number one concern that I have is that, as I just mentioned, I am not sure yet as to how fast, how high and how long will the repricing of our loan books continue. I’ll have a better idea about it and will be able to give you guidance from the subject by the end of this month. What I can tell you is that as of yesterday, that trend, that is continued improvement in pricing remain in place.

And my second concern is not so much a concern perhaps it is our frustration. I'm frustrated at the inability of the market to discriminate Bladex from other financial stocks. If you take a look at our the behavior of our stock price and compare it to the behavior of financials in general the correlation has been very close when in fact the dynamics of our business are very different to the dynamics of 99% of the other players in the financial index. While the reasons, why the other financials are under pressure might be good, none of them apply to Bladex, which makes us into a good investment opportunity and my frustration is that we haven't yet been recognized as such and this is one of the reason why I'm spending this time laying these stocks out for you.

For you to think about it, verify that what I'm saying is actually a fact and if so feel good about the investment. I'm going to repeat this result and expand on our situation on November the 12th, when we have scheduled a Bladex Day and a conference at the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you'll accompany us because we'll be able to go much deeper into both the structural and strategic elements of what we're doing. So, again, in the current environment I explained to Bladex's strength, and I'm looking forward to continuation of what has been a solid and steady progress over the last couple of years.

With that ladies and gentlemen, I'll turn the conversation over to Carlos for him to give you the details of the number third quarter and then again we'll be happy to take up your questions. Thanks a lot. Carlos, please.

Carlos Yap

Thank you Jaime and good morning everyone. Let me briefly walk you through the financial results that were contained in this morning's press release, which reflected a strong performance from our business area.

Interest income for the third quarter was $17.6 million, up 5% from the previous quarter and have increased 32% year-over-year. This 5% quarterly increase was driven by higher volumes and increased lending margins from the Commercial Division.

The average loan portfolio grew 3% as a result of increase in trade demand and expanded client-based particularly in the corporate sector. This strategy of focusing on growing corporate lending has generated positive results in the last two years. The average loan portfolio grew 25% during the last year.

Lending margins increased 6 basis points as a result of increase in trade demand, coupled with macro-volatility and less competition. Also, this increase reflects the change in mix of the portfolio as corporate lending yields better spreads than lending to banks.

On the other side of the balance sheet borrowings margins declined 1 basis point, mostly due to the 5% increase in the profits, which is our chief resource of funding.

The net interest margin declined 5 basis points to 1.65% have increased, mainly margins were offset by the current cost of higher cash balances as part of our plan to strengthen liquidity at the time of market turbulence.

Going forward, there are several factors that should affect net interest margins. Higher lending spreads or loan disbursement in the latter part of the third quarter will have a positive effect on the following quarters as Jaime stated.

How sustainable these current higher lending spreads levels are will depend on market conditions.

Liquidity levels which had an impact on the net interest margin during this quarter would also depends on market conditions. Where we can lower them then the net interest margin will benefit. On the other hand, factors that would have a negative effect on the net interest margin going forward are higher leveraging of the balance sheets require more borrowing, and in this scenario, it’s lower interest rates because this would generate lower deals on the cash balances.

The declining fees income issues reflect mostly our decision to reduce our net asset productivity in riskier markets, which also had an impact in lower provisions. We expect to offset this decline in the letters of credit fees by year-end and when we hope to benefit from the more stable market environment and [efficient loan] increase in credit flows.

In terms of treasury revenues, after a very strong second quarter, trading gains and gains available for sale securities declined to more than the life levels of about $5 million for the quarter.

Operating expenses for the third quarter were $8.7 million, or 36% of operating use compared to 45% a year ago. The bank efficiency ratio of 36% continues improved and is well below the average of the industry of 50% to 60%

Operating expenses for the quarter declined $1.6 million driven by $1.4 million reduction in the variable compensation provision related to the asset management activities and in line with this performance during the quarter.

In addition, legal expenses increased as the bank continues to invest in business initiatives in the commercial division.

On a year-to-date basis, operating expenses increased $6.5 million of which $2.7 million correspond to the deferred valuable compensation related to the asset management activities. The risk is related to salary expenses associated with the development of the corporate business and treasury activity, additional performance variable compensation and stock-based compensation expenses, as well as depreciation expenses related investment in new technological platform and legal expenses related to new business initiatives.

In order to further align the interest of the board, restricted stocks allocated to the board will increase at 100% and their cash compensation also increased 30% based on any independent market survey. Going forward, inflation is becoming an issue not only in Panama and New York, but also in Mexico, Brazil and in Argentina where the local is currency strengthening, which will impact our cost base a lot dramatically.

As a result of these mentioned factors, operating income from the commercial division rose 7% on a sequential quarterly basis, as operating revenues grew 4% and expenses declined 1%. Year-to-date operating income from the commercial division was $30.8 million up 23% from a year ago.

Operating income for the Treasury Division declined from $16.1 million to a more normalized level of $4.5 million driving the bank consolidated operating income for the quarter to $15.2 million from $26.1 million in the previous quarter.

On a year-to-date basis, operating income reached $55 million, up 120% from a year ago which again reflects a bulk in client base diversification strategy established two years ago. The bank has achieved these operating earnings with a more diversified revenue base. A year ago, net interest income represented 94% of total operating revenues compared to 63% during this year.

Provisions for loan losses for the second quarter were $3.4 million driven by 2% growth in the loan portfolio. The bank reverse provisions for losses on off-balance sheet credits for $3 million, back to earnings reflecting changes in the country mix of contingencies. The net effect was an increasing result of $0.4 million for the quarter compared to $1.4 million reversal in the second quarter.

As a result, net income amounted to $15 million or 10% internal equity for the third quarter and 13% year-to-date.

Operating income year-to-date was 12.3% compared to almost half 5.8% a year ago. This profitability levels were achieved by maintaining a strong capitalization of 21.6% Tier 1 capital ratio, still strong but lower than the 27% a year ago. We intend to continue using capital as we grow our books and profits.

Now let's turn briefly to our balance sheet. We ended up with $4.5 billion in total assets, a 4% increase over the previous quarter and up 26% from a year ago mostly driven by the growth in our loan portfolio. During the quarter, the bank strengthened its liquidity position. It consists mostly of cash and deposit with high quality banks outside the region and representing 7% of total assets and 22% of total deposits.

In addition, every month mature around $450 million in loans, which provide additional liquidity, as our portfolio continues to be short-term in nature. 70% of our commercial portfolio matures within one year and duration of this portfolio is 0.3 years. If risk levels continue improving, we may see maintaining of payments going forward.

As mentioned, deposits increased 5% during the quarter and 31% from a year ago, this increase in deposits mostly come from Central Banks, our shareholders.

In terms of asset quality, the bank had no credits in non-accruing or past-due status of September 30, 2007, as it has been the case in the last three quarters.

That concludes my financial update. Let me now turn it over Jaime.

Jaime Rivera

Thank you, Carlos. Ladies and gentlemen, we will be glad to take up any questions you might have.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions). We will pause for just a moment to compile the Q&A roster. Thank you, your first question is coming from Juan Partida with JP Morgan.

Juan Partida - JP Morgan

Hi, good morning Jaime and Carlos. My question is related to the composition of your loan portfolio on a geographical basis. We saw that during this quarter the exposure to Brazil increased substantially well that of Peru and Mexico declined -- I am sorry -- yes, and Mexico declined. So, I wanted to see if this was a part of the strategy, or that's just the places where you saw that demand, you could elaborate a little bit on that? Thank you.

Jaime Rivera

Juan, good morning. No strategy at all. In fact, in both, Peru and Mexico our strategy to grow and I think you will see a significant growth in both markets in the coming quarters. The reason why the balance has decreased in both cases were the same and we had clients, one large exposure in Peru with a client where the pricing was very low, we are being strict, even more careful about the way we price our assets. We did not agree on pricing and we simply refused to renew the operation. We are replacing that asset with some other.

And in Mexico, the exact same thing happened. We had a subsidiary of one of the major state companies who had a substantial maturity. We did not agree on pricing and we thought we have and in fact, we do better uses for those capital and we again refused to renew it.

In Brazil, on the other hand, most of the renewal of that payment for negotiations agreed to meet our higher pricing standards and that's why you saw Brazil grow in relative terms more than either Peru or Mexico. If that quarter is to go by anything, I don't think it represents a trend at all.

Juan Partida - JP Morgan

Okay, thank you very much. That's usual, just in the other category which increased a lot, can you give us an idea what countries are included there, it went from 5 to 104?

Jaime Rivera

That represent -- it's actually other means the United States at the end of arguing the quarter and starting the quarter before we have been using insurance coverage to manage the portfolio and most of that insurance coverage represents US. We have been doing some transactions where the structure calls for litigation of risks and the cheapest things we have -- the cheapest way we have found to do that is through short-term insurance. People know us they give us very good rates and of course that will -- that shift is the risk for U.S.

Juan Partida - JP Morgan

I see, thank you.

Jaime Rivera

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Your next question is coming from [Titolo Barlow] with Deutsche Bank.

Titolo Barlow - Deutsche Bank

Hi good morning. Just two question under the last quarter's conference call you mentioned your normalized level of trading gains of around $3 million and a little bit high this quarter, but just kind of want get us through that just still a normalized level that you expect going forward? And then the second question, even the decline in fee income is that also you know what the current expectations are going forward on that? Thank you.

Jaime Rivera

I will stick to the $3 million -- to the $3 million figure, this year of course we've been substantially above that. It's a volatile business. Our own market is placed on $3 million, third quarter. If it turns out that as time proceeds and we achieve -- become more confident in our ability to upgrade higher level say $5 million, we will let you know, but just to let to know we are using $3 million in our budget. We aim of course to consistently -- consistently beat that figure, but for your projections if you want to be conservative use $3 million.

The fee income again we're currently taking steps to increase our -- fair activity in some of the markets we drew from during August. Christmas is coming demand is increasing, so with new products we are already coming back to the levels of the second quarter, first and second quarter in the fourth quarter. Fees will improve next year and they will do so steadily and markedly to the extent that we deploy the third party asset management operations successfully and we have a [variation] to believe that we'll be able to so. It's certainly based upon the level of interest that has being generated on solicited interest that has been generated from people in the market.

Titolo Barlow - Deutsche Bank

It was very helpful. Thank you.

Jaime Rivera

Sure, Titolo.

Operator

(Operator Instructions). Your next question is coming from [Anurag Bhagwanji with Porto Orlin]. Please, go ahead.

Anurag Bhagwanji

Good morning, Jaime. Good morning, Carlos.

Jaime Rivera

Hello.

Anurag Bhagwanji

Congratulations on the good numbers. My question was, you mentioned asset management side of the business. Can you talk about what are the assets under management currently? And how do you see that growing?

Jaime Rivera

Our net asset value is in the order of $120 million, that's our proprietary book. We only see it growing to the profits. The major growth is going to come from again investments by third party institutions or individuals, and I think that by the end of the fourth quarter we'll able to give you a better idea of how our large our book will grow. But clearly our investment, our proprietary investments, the level of funds we placed with our New York operation, will remain where it is, $120 million plus accrued profit.

Anurag Bhagwanji

Okay. Thanks a lot Jaime and looking forward to meeting you in New York on the12th of November.

Jaime Rivera

Thank you Anurag and please give my regards to Alice please.

Anurag Bhagwanji

Will do.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions). There appear to be no further questions. I would like to turn the floor back over to management for any closing remarks.

Jaime Rivera

Well, ladies and gentlemen again, I believe this quarter has once more proved of the soundness of our business model and our ability to upgrade on the strong, stable conditions which we did for a good year and a half and on the very unstable conditions which we did during last quarter, we have continued and steadily improved along all indicators, financial indicators and upgrading indicators.

We are moving in the direction that we promised you we would. Nearly three years ago when we announced what we were going to do, most of the activities that or business lines that we told you we're going to deploy. We have deployed. The numbers that we told you we are going to achieve are being sort of achieved. We have doubled ROE our levels in one year, basically from our low base. Apart from this standard we intent to continue with this pace as this will turn out to be an even better investment than it has turned out to be so far.

I know a number of you have been with us for sometime and have done well with return capital, with increased dividend and price have improved accordingly. So, I want to thank you for your confidence and let you know that from my perspective, since I took this job the current environment at present itself is the one that most benefits the company, and again unlike even a year and a half ago, we now have many much sails out there with which to catch the wind.

So, hope to see you all on November, the 12th in New York. If you can't make it then we will be providing a web conference so you can listen to it. We intend to go deeper into what we've done and our strategy from hereon as we complete the 2010 strategic plan and in the meantime, as usual again, I thank you again and wish you all success within what is for all of us an exciting market.

Thank you very much to all.

Operator

Thank you. This does conclude today's Bladex conference call. You may now disconnect.

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