Bladex's First Quarter 2013 Net Income Totals $16.3 Million, or $0.43 per Share as the Commercial Portfolio Grows 5% Q-o-Q, 14%

  Bladex's First Quarter 2013 Net Income Totals $16.3 Million, or $0.43 per
         Share as the Commercial Portfolio Grows 5% Q-o-Q, 14% Y-o-Y.

PR Newswire

PANAMA CITY, April 17, 2013

PANAMA CITY, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio
Exterior, S.A. (NYSE: BLX, "Bladex", or "the Bank") announced today its
results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

First Quarter 2013 Business Highlights

  oThe Bank's first quarter 2013 Net Income reached $16.3 million, or $0.43
    per share, compared to $24.6 million, or $0.64 per share, in the previous
    quarter, and $32.2 million, or $0.86 per share in the first quarter 2012.
    The $8.3 million decrease in Net Income versus the previous quarter was
    mainly driven by moderate generic provision requirements due to portfolio
    growth, compared to $9.9 million in reversals of provisions for credit
    losses recorded in the previous quarter. The decrease versus the first
    quarter 2012 was largely driven by lower gains from Treasury activities,
    including the investment in the Investment Funds, along with $4.4 million
    in reversals of provisions for credit losses recorded in the first quarter
  oThe Commercial Division's portfolio balance grew 14% year-on-year, and 5%
    quarter-on-quarter, to $6.2 billion as of March 31, 2013, mainly
    attributable to strong demand in the Bank's client base of Corporations
    (+22% YoY; +19% QoQ). Quarterly average balances reached $5.9 billion, up
    3% from the previous quarter, and up 13% compared to the first quarter
  oDuring the first quarter 2013, credit disbursements totaled $3.5 billion,
    the same level as in the previous quarter, and a 39% increase compared to
    the same period of a year ago.
  oThe Bank's credit quality remained strong with no loan balances in
    non-accrual status as of March 31, 2013, the same level as of December 31,
    2012, and compared to $24 million, or 0.5% of the loan portfolio as of
    March 31, 2012. The ratio of the allowance for credit losses to the
    Commercial Portfolio's ending balances was 1.3% as of March 31, 2013,
    nearly unchanged from December 31, 2012, and compared to 1.6% as of March
    31, 2012.
  oAs of March 31, 2013, the Bank's Tier 1 capital ratio was 16.6%, compared
    to 17.9% as of both December 31, 2012 and March 31, 2012. The Bank's
    leverage as of these dates was 8.2x, 8.2x, and 7.7x, respectively. The
    Bank's equity consists entirely of issued and fully paid ordinary common

^(*) Net income or loss attributable to Bladex Stockholders ("Net Income", or
"Net Loss").

CEO's Comments

Mr. Rubens V. Amaral Jr., Bladex's Chief Executive Officer, stated the
following regarding the Bank's First Quarter 2013 results: "Bladex commenced
2013 with satisfactory results in what historically has been the slowest
quarter of the year – First Quarter 2012 results notwithstanding. The results
for first quarter 2013 were driven by an expansion of the Commercial Portfolio
that reflects the Region's positive growth dynamics and Bladex's competitive
edge. Thanks to its diversified economies and fairly positive growth outlook,
especially when compared to other regions of the world, Latin America is
attracting flows of capital from all parts of the globe, and experiencing an
environment of ample liquidity in most of its markets. While this certainly
represents a challenge with regards to net margins and increased levels of
competition, Bladex has proven its ability to compete effectively, growing its
core business without sacrificing margins and spreads. This is being achieved
by managing the portfolio mix, on both the asset and liability sides of the
balance sheet, with high quality counterparties, and seeking higher
risk-adjusted returns, working both the short-term and the medium-term
(one-to-five year) components of our tenor structure. This very gradual shift
is reflected in moderate, incremental generic reserve requirements, and an
absence of non-performing assets. The diversification of commission and fee
income is also gaining pace, with Bladex making progress in establishing a
track record of successful syndications of various sizes every quarter, and
steadily adding to its list of awarded mandates. Very importantly, Bladex is
making good on its commitment to containing, and even reducing its core
expense base as the Bank pushes for increased efficiency in the way it
operates. With the successful conclusion of the sale of the Asset Management
Unit, announced earlier this month, Bladex is now able to focus its efforts on
strengthening and growing its core business." Mr. Amaral concluded. 



The following table illustrates the consolidated results of operations of the
Bank for the periods indicated below:

(US$ million, except percentages and per share        1Q13     4Q12     1Q12
Net Interest Income                                   $26.0    $24.2    $29.6
Net Operating Income (Loss) by Business Segment:
 Commercial Division                               $20.4    $21.2    $21.3
 Treasury Division                                  ($3.8)   ($6.3)   $7.0
Net Operating Income                                  $16.6    $14.9    $28.3
Net income - business segment                         $16.3    $24.8    $32.7
Net income attributable to the redeemable             $0.0     $0.1     $0.1
noncontrolling interest
Net Income attributable to Bladex Stockholders -      $16.3    $24.7    $32.5
business segment
Net loss from discontinued operations                 $0.0     ($0.1)   ($0.3)
Net Income attributable to Bladex Stockholders        $16.3    $24.6    $32.2
Net Income per Share ^(1)                             $0.43    $0.64    $0.86
Book Value per common share (period end)              $22.02   $21.67   $20.79
Return on Average Equity ("ROE")                     7.9%     11.9%    16.6%
Operating Return on Average Equity ("Operating ROE")  8.1%     7.2%     14.6%
Return on Average Assets ("ROA")                      1.0%     1.6%     2.1%
Net Interest Margin                                   1.62%    1.54%    1.90%
Efficiency Ratio ^(3)                                 45%      52%      31%
Tier 1 Capital ^(4)                                   $845     $826     $780
Total Capital ^(5)                                    $909     $883     $835
Risk-Weighted Assets                                  $5,098   $4,609   $4,347
Tier 1 Capital Ratio ^(4)                             16.6%    17.9%    17.9%
Total Capital Ratio ^(5)                              17.8%    19.2%    19.2%
Stockholders' Equity                                  $845     $826     $782
Stockholders' Equity to Total Assets                  12.3%    12.2%    13.0%
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) ("OCI") ($1)     ($1)     $0
Leverage (times) ^(6)                                 8.2      8.2      7.7
Liquid Assets / Total Assets ^(7)                     8.3%     10.2%    8.7%
Liquid Assets / Total Deposits                        22.1%    29.8%    21.9%
Non-Accruing Loans to Total Loans, net                0.0%     0.0%     0.5%
Allowance for Credit Losses to Commercial Portfolio   1.3%     1.3%     1.6%
Credit provision to non-accruing balances             n.m.^(*) n.m.^(*) 363.3%
Total Assets                                          $6,894   $6,756   $6,030
^(*)"n.m." means not meaningful.


  oAnnual Shareholders' Meeting:The Bank is holding its Annual
    Shareholders' Meeting on April 17, 2013. At the meeting, holders of the
    Bank's common stock will vote for: i) the approval of the Bank's audited
    financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, ii) the
    ratification of Deloitte as the Bank's independent registered public
    accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013, iii) the
    re-election of four directors, one to represent Class A shareholders and
    three directors to represent the holders of Class E shares of the Bank's
    common stock, iv) to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of
    the Bank's executive officers, and v) to transact such other business as
    may properly come before the Annual Meeting.
  oQuarterly dividend payment: At the Board of Director's meeting held April
    16, 2013, the Bank's Board approved a quarterly common dividend of $0.30
    per share corresponding to the first quarter 2013. The dividend will be
    paid on May 7, 2013, to stockholders registered as of April 29, 2013.
  oBladex Asset Management: On April 2, 2013, the Bank announced it had
    finalized a definitive agreement for the sale of its Asset Management
    Unit. The Unit was sold to Alpha4X Asset Management, LLC ("Alpha4X"), a
    newly-formed company that is majority-owned by the current asset
    management team. A subsidiary of XL Group plc (NYSE: XL) will acquire a
    minority equity stake in Alpha4X as part of the sale. The sale of the
    unit is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013. The Bank will
    continue in its role as anchor investor for a period of up to 3 years with
    a reduced investment amount, and will also enjoy certain revenue-sharing
    rights during that period.

Note: Various numbers and percentages set forth in this press release have
been rounded and, accordingly, may not total exactly. 


(1) Net Income per Share calculations are based on the average number of
shares outstanding
 during each period.

(2) Operating ROE: Annualized net operating income divided by average
stockholders' equity.

(3) Efficiency ratio refers to consolidated operating expenses as a
percentage of net operating

(4) Tier 1 Capital is calculated according to Basel I capital adequacy
guidelines, and is equivalent
 to stockholders' equity excluding the OCI effect of the Available for
Sale portfolio. Tier 1 Capital
 ratio is calculated as a percentage of risk weighted assets.
Risk-weighted assets are, in turn,
 also calculated based on Basel I capital adequacy guidelines.

(5) Total Capital refers to Tier 1 Capital plus Tier 2 Capital, based on
Basel I capital adequacy
 guidelines. Total Capital ratio refers to Total Capital as a
percentage of risk weighted assets.

(6) Leverage corresponds to assets divided by stockholders' equity.

(7) Liquid assets consist of investment-grade 'A' securities, and cash and
due from banks,
 excluding pledged regulatory deposits. Liquidity ratio refers to
liquid assets as a percentage of
 total assets.


This press release contains forward-looking statements of expected future
developments. The Bank wishes to ensure that such statements are accompanied
by meaningful cautionary statements pursuant to the safe harbor established by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking
statements in this press release refer to the growth of the credit portfolio,
including the trade portfolio, the increase in the number of the Bank's
corporate clients, the positive trend of lending spreads, the increase in
activities engaged in by the Bank that are derived from the Bank's client
base, anticipated operating income and return on equity in future periods,
including income derived from the Treasury Division, the improvement in the
financial and performance strength of the Bank and the progress the Bank is
making. These forward-looking statements reflect the expectations of the
Bank's management and are based on currently available data; however, actual
experience with respect to these factors is subject to future events and
uncertainties, which could materially impact the Bank's expectations. Among
the factors that can cause actual performance and results to differ materially
are as follows: the anticipated growth of the Bank's credit portfolio; the
continuation of the Bank's preferred creditor status; the impact of
increasing/decreasing interest rates and of the macroeconomic environment in
the Region on the Bank's financial condition; the execution of the Bank's
strategies and initiatives, including its revenue diversification strategy;
the adequacy of the Bank's allowance for credit losses; the need for
additional provisions for credit losses; the Bank's ability to achieve future
growth, to reduce its liquidity levels and increase its leverage; the Bank's
ability to maintain its investment-grade credit ratings; the availability and
mix of future sources of funding for the Bank's lending operations; potential
trading losses; the possibility of fraud; and the adequacy of the Bank's
sources of liquidity to replace deposit withdrawals.

About Bladex

Bladex is a supranational bank originally established by the Central Banks of
Latin American and Caribbean countries to support trade finance in the
Region. Based in Panama, its shareholders include central banks and
state-owned entities in 23 countries in the Region, as well as Latin American
and international commercial banks, along with institutional and retail
investors. Through March 31, 2013, Bladex had disbursed accumulated credits
of approximately $195 billion.

Conference Call Information

There will be a conference call to discuss the Bank's quarterly results on
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. New York City time (Eastern Time). For
those interested in participating, please dial (800) 311-9401 in the United
States or, if outside the United States, (334) 323-7224. Participants should
use conference ID# 8034, and dial in five minutes before the call is set to
begin. There will also be a live audio webcast of the conference at

The conference call will become available for review on Conference Replay one
hour after its conclusion, and will remain availablefor 60 days. Please
dial(877) 919-4059or(334) 323-7226,and follow the instructions. The
replay passcode is: 92903891.

For more information, please access http://www.bladex.comor contact:

Mr. Christopher Schech
Chief Financial Officer
Business Park Torre V, Piso 5
Avenida La Rotonda
Urbanización Costa del Este
Panama City, Panama
Tel: (507) 210-8630
E-mail address: 

Investor Relations Firm:
i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc.
Mrs. Melanie Carpenter
20 Broad Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
Tel: (212) 406-3692
E-mail address:

SOURCE Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. (Bladex)

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