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Report: Peru to reveal details of Banco Agropecuario's bad lending practices

Peru's government plans to reveal in mid-January the financial situation of state-owned development bank Banco Agropecuario, as well as details concerning irregularities in loan approvals under its former management, El Comercio reported Dec. 29, citing an interview with Agriculture Minister José Manuel Hernández.

The Ministry is investigating those executives responsible for the bank's problems and plans to publish its findings around Jan. 10, Hernández reportedly said.

Banco Agropecuario, or Agrobanco as it is known, recently fired its former CEO, Julio Gerardo Dietz Acosta, and other executives after it was revealed that the bank had failed to fulfill its mandate of financing primarily small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The bank's chairman Richard Hale, who was appointed in September, has admitted that about 50% of the bank's loan portfolio is concentrated in 35 large companies, most of which are large agricultural firms.

In addition, according to Hernández, many borrowers did not provide guarantees for the loans they have received and the approval of these loans violates the bank's internal regulations.

However, in cooperation with the bank's new management, the Ministry plans to clean up its lending practices and reorient the bank's strategy to focus on lending to small- and medium-sized producers.