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Nov 28, 2017

Scotiabank offers $2.9B to buy majority stake in Chilean bank

Scotiabank offers $2.9 billion for BBVA's stake in Chilean bank

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TORONTO -- Scotiabank says it has submitted an offer to buy a majority stake in a Chilean bank for $2.9 billion.

Scotiabank (BNS.TO) seeks to acquire Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.'s (BBVA) shares in its Chilean banking operation, BBVA Chile.

The Canadian bank, which released its quarterly results early Tuesday, says BBVA is willing to accept the deal if its minority partner, the Said family, does not exercise its right of first refusal under a shareholders agreement.

BBVA currently owns 68.19 per cent of BBVA Chile and the Said family owns 31.62 per cent.

The transaction would double Scotiabank's market share in Chile to approximately 14 per cent and would be in line with Scotiabank's strategy to increase scale within Chile and the Pacific Alliance countries.

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“Clearly, a mantle that [Scotia] has held for a very long time is they are Canada’s most international bank, particularly when it comes to personal and commercial banking. This move only solidifies that position,” said Edward Jones Canadian Investment Strategist Craig Fehr in an interview with BNN.

“The core area of profitability for the banks [in Canada] is going to come under a bit of pressure,” he added. “This obviously is an opportunity for them to grow outside of that.”

Should the deal go through, it would make Scotiabank the third largest non-state owned bank in the South American country.

BBVA Chile has $29 billion in assets and has 4,000 employees at 127 branches.

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