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Price declines, currency depreciation, knock Mexican banks' market cap rankings

Amid weaker economic prospects and a sharp currency decline,Mexican banks' market caps declined during the third quarter to push thesector's largest institutions lower on SNL's ranking of Latin America's topbanks.

Mexico's three largest listed banks, ,Grupo Financiero Santander MexicoSAB de CV and GrupoFinanciero Inbursa SAB de CV, each fell one spot during the thirdquarter. Banorte, which had been the No. 7 biggest bank in Latin America bymarket cap, fell to No. 8. Similarly, both Santander Mexico and Inbursa droppeda spot to Nos. 10 and 12, respectively.

Compounded with share price declines over the three monthperiod, the Mexican banks' market caps also suffered from a weaker Mexican pesoin the ranking, which is based on market capitalizations converted to U.S.dollars.  Over the course of the thirdquarter, the peso declined by about 4.54% against the dollar.

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Outside of the movements tied to Mexico's banks, the bulk ofthe top 20 rankings were largely unchanged from the prior quarter period.Itaú Unibanco Holding SAmaintained the No. 1 spot as the biggest bank in Latin America with a marketcap of $66.91 billion, while the five next largest banks also maintained theirrespective rankings from the prior quarter period.

However, Peru-based BBVA Banco Continental SA managed to squeak onto list inthe No. 20 spot after seeing a 14.88% increase in market cap during the thirdquarter. BTG PactualGroup had held that spot three months earlier, but the Brazilianbank's market cap dropped by more than a quarter to $3.93 billion in thethree-month period, largely on a 22.89% decline in its unit price.

Overall, the SNL Latin America Bank index moved about 6.66%higher during the third quarter, but is still down more than 6% since the startof 2016. That compares to a 31.03% rise in the year-to-date period for thebroader market S&P Latin American 40 Index.

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