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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Itaú to expand in Chile, Colombia with CorpBanca deal, (NYSE: BCA)

Brazil's Ita� Unibanco Holding SA, Latin America's largest bank by market value, took a key step in its overseas expansion plan on Wednesday with a deal to take control of Chilean lender CorpBanca SA.Under the terms of the transaction, Ita� will pump $652 million into its Chilean unit, and then combine it with CorpBanca, according to a securities filing. The combined entity, which will be named Ita� CorpBanca, will be 50.5 percent-owned by the S�o Paulo-based lender and also will manage the Colombian units of both banks, the filing added.For Ita�, an association with CorpBanca would not only give it an important foothold in retail banking in Chile, but also provide a platform to grow in Colombia, probably South America's fastest-growing economy last year. The new lender will have a market value of over $8 billion, $44 billion in assets, a $33 billion loan book, over 10,000 employees and 390 branches.For years Chief Executive Officer Roberto Egydio Setubal sought to purchase regional rivals, but backed off due to high valuations. Ita� began operations in Chile with the purchase of Fleet Boston Corp's local unit in 2006 and later HSBC Holdings Plc's operations in 2011, and set up a wholesale banking operation in Colombia in 2012.

CorpBanca is a Chile-based bank engaged in the provision of commercial and retail banking services. Shares of BCA fell by 12.58% or $-2.44/share to $16.95. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $13.37 and as high as $22.80. On average, 89124 shares of BCA exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 36294.