We invest in Financials companies located overseas through our three international funds. In addition to our traditional investment criteria, we look for companies that are poised to benefit from secular or structural growth opportunities in their regional markets. For instance, we own Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE:BAP), the largest financial services company in Peru, with dominant positions in banking, insurance, and asset management. In addition to a high quality management team and a track record of delivering solid profitability, we think Credicorp stands to benefit from two major secular trends: an increase in banking penetration and favorable demographics. Peru is still vastly underserved in terms of financial services, with a loan/GDP ratio of roughly 27%, among the lowest in Latin America, implying significant room for banks to increase lending. In addition, a population with a young, but increasing, median age; a reduction in poverty levels; and a gradual formalization of the labor force will boost demand for financial services, in our view.
From Baron Funds' May 2016 Baron Insight: Investing in Financials. Continue Reading »