MIAMI - Latin America has not fully emerged from its deep recession of recent years, but profits of U.S. banks operating there have been booming, and that is encouraging U.S. expansion in the region.

"We're having record earnings in Latin America in 1999, and we expected record earnings in 2000," said Henrique de Campos Meirelles, president, global bank, FleetBoston Corp. Mr. Meirelles was among 1,300 bankers from 19 countries who attended the 33d annual meeting of the Federation of Latin American Banks here last week, more than twice the number at last year's conference in Panama.

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