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New Banco Nación chief aims to focus on mortgages, lending to SMEs

Javier González Fraga, the new head of state-owned Banco de la Nación Argentina, plans to focus his management efforts on mortgage lending and loans to SMEs in the productive sector, El Cronista reported Jan. 19, citing comments by the executive.

Argentina's President, Mauricio Macri, tapped González Fraga, a former central bank president, to replace Carlos Melconian, who had headed the bank since 2015.

On the personnel front, González Fraga said he does not plan to make any changes to the bank's board or its management team, adding "I am convinced the bank is on the right course."

Banco Nación is a bank designed to lend to producers, especially those in the agricultural, industrial and technology sectors, he noted, adding that more investment is needed to spur economic growth.

In terms of mortgages, the bank, which recorded a record high in new mortgages in December 2016, will continue to boost lending in inflation-indexed units as a tool to promote home ownership and reduce poverty, González Fraga said.