Banco de Chile top shareholder to sell up to around $1B in shares

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 10, 2014 05:00 AM EST

Chilean lender Banco de Chile's majority shareholder has launched a process to sell up to 6.9 billion shares. The said shares are equivalent to $963 million at current market value.

According to a report by Reuters, Banco de Chile on Thursday said it had accepted the decision of parent LQ Inversiones Financieras SA to sell its shares in the bank. The exit deal would reduce LQ's stake to 51% from its current 58.4%.

It was unclear why LQ has decided to launch the process. LQ is a joint venture of Quinenco SA and the Citibank Overseas Investment Corporation, a profile by Bloomberg said. Quinenco is owned by the wealthy Chilean Luksic family.

Banco de Chile, one of the country's biggest banks, has been doing well. It posted a roughly $885 million profit in the January to November 2013 period, said Chile's banking regulator.

The Chilean lender's shares have jumped roughly 40% in the last year, based on Reuters data. Reuters, citing the Santiago Stock Exchange, said that Banco de Chile shares closed 1.13% lower at CLP74.38 on Thursday before the news was announced.     

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