Hello, everyone, and welcome to Bladex Second Quarter 2019 Conference Call on the 19th day of July 2019. [Operator Instructions] Bladex has prepared a PowerPoint presentation to accompany their discussion is available through the webcast and on the bank's corporate website at www.bladex.com.
Joining us today are Mr. Gabriel Tolchinsky, Chief Executive Officer; Mrs. Ana Graciela de Mendez, Chief Financial Officer. Their comments will be based on the earnings released, which was issued earlier today and is available on the corporate Website.
The following statement is made pursuant to the safe harbor for forward-looking statements described in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In these communications, we may make certain statements that are forward-looking, such as statements regarding Bladex future results, plans and anticipated trends and the market's affecting it's results and financial condition. These forward-looking statements are Bladex's expectations on the day of the initial broadcast of the conference call. And Bladex does not undertake to update these expectations based on the subsequent events or knowledge. Various risks, uncertainties and assumptions are detailed in the bank's press release and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Should one or more of these risk or uncertainties materialize or should any of our underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ significantly from results expressed or implied in this communications.
And with that, I am pleased to turn the call over to Mr. Tolchinsky for his presentation.
Thanks, Travis. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Before Ana Graciela delves into key aspects of our earnings results for the second quarter, I would like to discuss with you the economic and business environment in Latin America; important developments that took place during the quarter; and the impact of these recent developments on our perception of risk and financial results.
During our last three quarters conference calls, we mentioned that the credit quality of our portfolio, cost structure and allowances for expected credit losses set the base to improve our earnings generation capacity. Our second quarter 2019 results are another step in that direction.
On the economic and business environment front, once again, our diminished expectations for Latin America's economic growth continue to be challenged by the global macroeconomic environment, as well as by Brazil and Mexico, the two largest economies in Latin America. With growth expectations for the region now hovering around 1%. Starting with the global macroeconomic context, the US dollar is strong, protectionist rhetoric on trade and tariffs from the US is a weekly opponent and an ambition slowdown of economic activity in China, Europe and the US became a reality in the second quarter of 2019.
After switching to a neutral mode on the direction of interest rates in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve started setting the stage in the second quarter for lowering rates in the second half of the year, while short-term rates remained relatively stable, the prospect of lower rates lowered the yield on the 10-year US Treasury to around 2%,
Chief Executive Officer
Ana Graciela de Mendez
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
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