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PANAMA - Finance

Olga Cantillo

Executive Vice President & General Manager, Latin America Stock Exchange – Latinex

Bio

Olga Cantillo has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, having worked in brokerage houses and banks with responsibilities in Panama and other countries in the region. She was the VP Operations at MMG Bank Corporation prior to assuming the position of Executive Vice President & General Manager at Bolsa de Valores de Panamá in 2015, where she is responsible for the stock exchange as well as Central Latinoamericana de Valores. Cantillo was a member of the board at Latinex Holdings, Inc., Bolsa de Valores de Panamá, and Chair of the Board of Central Latinoamericana de Valores.

"We have multiple differentiators that lead us to be an investment destination, among them we can mention an US dollar economy, among the highest growing economies in the region and having investment grade."
Latinex works to promote sustainable investments in various ways, including listing ESG issuances, producing its first sustainability report, and being a signatory of the Net Zero by 2050 alliance, among others.
What are Panama’s differentiating factors as an investment destination?

We have multiple differentiators that lead us to be an investment destination, among them we can mention an US dollar economy, among the highest growing economies in the region and having investment grade. In Latinex, we have implemented and are working in different initiatives to become the international hub of the region’s capital market, being a recognized jurisdiction in investments with best practices and international standards, which facilitate the attraction of foreign issuers and investors.

How would you assess Latinex’s performance in 2022?

We have a wide diversification of sectors of issuers listed in Latinex, consequently any impact to our economy has a correlation with the capital market. External factors that are impacting economies worldwide, such as inflation and the upward trend of interest rates in the United States and globally, threats of a possible recession in the United States and the prolonged conflict between Ukraine and Russia, to name a few, have had an impact on our trading volume. Nonetheless, it is important to emphasize that the decrease is on the government’s participation in local debt issuance, especially when compared to 2021, when the government issued local debt for USD1.25 billion traded locally and 55% traded away in the international market through the iLink we have with Euroclear Bank. We have an increased participation of corporate issues that have become more relevant than in previous years, but maintaining the trend of 75% corporate and 25% government issues. We have also maintained the trend of listing new local and foreign issuers in the Panamanian market. Additionally, we relaunched the corporate market maker programs, corporate auctions, digital transformation, and the launch of our first Sustainability Report, under GRI and SASB standards, and our Sustainability Strategy, which is key to our strategy.

What ESG policies is Latinex adopting to promote sustainable investments?

Sustainable finance development is embedded in Latinex’ strategy. We were the first Latin American stock exchange to become a member of the Climate Bonds Initiatives, and it was under its principles that in 2019 we launched the guidance for the issuance of SGS securities. As of today, we have listed five ESG issuances for USD550 million. In 2021, we launched a Guidance for the Voluntary Reporting and Disclosure of ESG Factors with the cooperation of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Invest) and, as mentioned earlier, our first Sustainability Report with GRI & SASB standards and our Sustainability Strategy. Furthermore, we are Official Supporters of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative and, which is a fact that we promote. I am honored to be a member of the UN SSE Independent Advisory Committee. Our latest initiative reinforces our commitment to sustainability by becoming signatories of Net Zero by 2050 alliance by the Ministry of the Environment of Panama (MiAMBIENTE).

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