Latin America Advisor

Financial Services Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

Will China’s Banks Gain More Ground in Latin America?

Chinese banks, including China Construction Bank, have increased their presence in Latin America in recent years. // File Photo: China Construction Bank.

In recent years, Chinese banks have increased their presence in Latin America. Among them is China Construction Bank, which Chile authorized in 2016 to operate there. Five years ago, China’s central bank appointed the lender as the clearing institution for the yuan in Chile, where it “could serve as a base to finance projects,” then-Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz said at the time. To what extent are Chinese commercial banks making inroads in Latin America and the Caribbean? How would greater integration in financial services between China and Latin America serve China’s goals, and how would it affect Latin America? In the years ahead, how much will Chinese financial services firms grow their presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, as opposed to financial firms from other locations, such as the United States and Europe?

Thomas F. Morante, member of the Financial Services Advisor board and attorney, and Yani R. Contreras, consultant, both at Carlton Fields: “Although not uniform throughout Latin America, the presence of Chinese banks in various countries has facilitated Chinese investment in recent years. Chinese bank investment in the region appears to have been primarily driven by China’s interest in financing Chinese companies participating in infrastructure projects. In the past 15 years, Chinese companies have been involved in 86 infrastructure projects focused on a few countries, such as Argentina, Brazil and Peru, although fewer than 15 percent of these projects are located in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Bank of China…”

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About the Financial Services Advisor

Covering Latin America’s banking and insurance sectors, remittances trends and data, micro lending issues, new technologies in the industry, anti-money laundering regulations, and much more, the Inter-American Dialogue’s biweekly Financial Services Advisor, a sister publication of the Latin America Advisor, gives readers fresh insight and diverse viewpoints from financial sector leaders. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at

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Erik Brand

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Gene Kuleta

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Anastasia Chacón González

Reporter & Associate Editor
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