Dividend Stocks for the Week
One company that boosted its dividend recently is Credicorp (BAP), a Peruvian financial services company that owns insurance, investment banking and retail banking subsidiaries. Credicorp's biggest division is Banco de Credito del Peru, the country's leading retail and commercial bank, which provides nearly 95% of the company's revenues. Last week, management announced a 13.3% dividend increase, bringing the annual payout to $1.70 per share.
A strong recovery in Peru should drive significant loan growth for the bank, which saw significant devaluation in 2008 thanks to a selloff of both financial services plays and Latin American stocks. In 2010, the tables seem to have turned on Peru's economy, and Credicorp is expecting its loan books to achieve 18% growth this year.
One of the biggest growth areas for lenders in developing countries should be microloans. These tiny, relatively short-term loans provide higher margins than traditional lending arrangements and stimulate significant economic growth from the ground up. They should also keep investors interested in this banking play stateside. Credicorp's dividend yield currently sits at 1.92%. The company's thick margins and growing cash flows should keep those payments flowing this year.
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