Spanish banking group BBVA has announced plans to invest $1.5bn into its Mexican division, BBVA Bancomer.

BBVA executive chairman Francisco Gonzalez announced the move during his visit to Mexico City. The investment will be made over a period of five years.

“We are long-term investors and I hope we get more opportunities to continue to invest. I have always believed in this country, we have had good moments, not so good ones too, but Mexico is here, always solid. We have an enormous confidence in Mexico, in BBVA Bancomer, in our team and the Mexican business community,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also highlighted North America as one of the most economically competitive areas worldwide.

“It is one of the most attractive regions in the world for investments, with a young population. And Mexico is a vibrant country with great strengths. Its 120 million people are very young and fully motivated to do great things. Mexico is stronger than most people think, thanks to its population, its close relationship with the U.S., the dynamics of its industries and its business community,” he added.

BBVA forayed into the Mexico market with the acquisition of Probursa in 1995. In 2000, the Spanish lender bought the majority stake in Bancomer from Canada’s BMO Financial Group, and merged it with Probursa.