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BBVA holds first Board meeting in South America
Francisco González: “BBVA in Chile is laying the foundations for the winning bank of tomorrow”
- BBVA is holding its first Board meeting in Chile, a nation that is key to the Group’s Latin American growth strategy
- BBVA Chairman and CEO inaugurates The Art of Coins and Notes exhibition to showcase the first coin minted in Chile during the reign of Philip V
During his visit, Francisco González met with business owners, clients, shareholders and the media, as well as the executive team on the ground in Chile.
This is the first time ever that the BBVA Group has chosen a South American nation as the venue for one of its Board meetings. The meeting, to be held in Santiago, includes a lunch with the Secretary General of the OAS (Organization of American States), José Miguel Insulza, and the head of the Economics Department at MIT, Ricardo Caballero, who will share their views on the political and economic climate in Latin America, respectively.
Mr. González underscored that Chile has emerged as a core component of the Group’s Latin American growth strategy and is currently the most important market in the South American region. In Chile, the banking group (BBVA Chile and Forum), the insurer (CTS Chile-BBVA Seguros Chile) and the pension and insurance arm (AFP Provida) have performed magnificently throughout this crisis, emerging as the nation’s third biggest financial group.
Mr. González congratulated the executive team in Chile “on the Group’s healthy performance here despite the lingering adverse global backdrop. Congratulations above all for your excellent performance in recent years”. He also recalled that BBVA Chile had been given the highest credit rating within the national banking landscape (AAA).
Referring to the intense rebound in the Chilean economy, he talked of estimated GDP growth of 5.4% in 2010 and 5.8% in 2011, largely driven by the combination of buoyant internal demand and strong exports, particularly to Asia, Chile’s leading trading partner. Growth for the Latin American region as a whole is estimated at 5.8% in 2010 and 4.1% in 2011.
“The Chilean economy is posting dynamic growth”, added Mr. González. Unemployment is less than 8%, while inflation is tracking below the central bank’s target rate of 3%. He also said that the “Chilean financial system is robust, solvent and well-regulated; its bank sector is highly profitable and non-performing debt levels are low”.
The Art of Currencies and Notes exhibition
During his stay, Francisco González inaugurated The Art of Currencies and Notes exhibition, jointly organized with Chile’s mint - the Casa de la Moneda -, the nation’s heritage conservation society and the Chilean central bank.
The display, which showcases the history of the nation’s money, is owned by the Casa de la Moneda, which will devote one whole room to a very sizeable collection of notes that is part of BBVA’s permanent heritage collection. The exhibit will be open to the public for four months at BBVA’s former headquarters, where Chile’s first coin was minted during the reign of Philip V. This one-of-a-kind coin is being exhibited for the first time since it was made.
The exhibition is part of BBVA Chile’s contributions to the nation’s bicentennial celebrations. BBVA’s support of the arts and culture is an important aspect of the Bank’s commitment to social responsibility, one of the core tenets of its corporate culture.