Panama has licensed the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to carry out banking operations “in and from” Panama. ICBC, which is one of China’s four major state-owned commercial banks and the largest bank in the world by total assets, already operates in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. It now aims to use Panama as a regional hub for Central America, the Caribbean, and parts of South America. The Superintendent of Banks of Panama, Amauri Castillo, has called ICBC’s interest in Panama indicative of “strong confidence in the stability and solidity of the Panamanian market” in spite of challenging circumstances.
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