Acquired from the Uruguayan government in June 2006, Nuevo Banco Comercial (NBC) is Uruguay’s largest commercial bank, with $1 billion in assets and a net worth of $181 million.
Formed in 2002 by combining the highest-quality assets of three of Uruguay’s largest banks, NBC serves over 200,000 retail and corporate customers, offering a complete range of banking services, including corporate and personal loans, export and import finance, car loans and credit cards. Within the banking sector, it is the only player other than the state-owned BROU with a truly national reach and has established No. 1 or 2 market positions in performing loans, net worth, total assets and liabilities. It is also the leading credit card issuer in Uruguay with a 35% market share and 108,000 active accounts.
Market conditions are extremely favorable for the business. The Uruguayan economy has recovered strongly after a long recession, with GDP expanding 6.6% in 2005. Assuming average GDP growth of 3% a year until 2010, the demand for banking services over the next four years is expected to be substantial. With a strong balance sheet and experienced management team, NBC is well positioned to take advantage of the surge in demand and reduced competition triggered by a period of significant consolidation over the last few years.
In connection with the transaction, Advent has signed an agreement with Grupo de Servícíos y Transaccíones, a leading Argentine bank, whose senior executives will serve on NBC’s board and advise management on strategy and operations. Going forward, the company will focus on developing its product lines, improving profitability and accelerating loan portfolio growth.