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The Panamanian bank dealt with a large impairment charge that held back earnings for the year.

Like everywhere else in the world, Latin America needs sources of financing in order to drive business activity. Panama's Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (NYSE:BLX), or Bladex for short, has been a key provider of that financing, but that has left it vulnerable to the ups and downs of the economic prospects of the region. Coming into Friday's fourth-quarter financial report, Bladex shareholders had expected to see relatively solid profits that were consistent with past periods. However, the bank had to report a substantial impairment charge that ate into its profitability and left it with a bottom-line decline for 2016.

Let's take a closer look at Bladex to see how it did and what it sees ahead in 2017.


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