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Spain’s BBVA puts its Latin American pension fund arm on the block

Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (MCE:BBVA) said on Thursday it would start a strategic review of its mandatory pension fund administrators operations in Latin America with the view of selling these activities, or part of them.

BBVA will look into options for its pension fund administrators companies (AFPs) in Chile, Colombia and Peru, as well as for the Mexican pension fund business Afore, it said.

These operations are “highly attractive”, but are not core to BBVA’s business, the bank explained.

The Latin American market remains a strategic priority for the growth of BBVA’s banking and insurance business, the Spanish group said.

The review of the AFPs is expected to take several quarters and a potential sale, if decided, would not take place during 2012.

The bank warned that the strategic review will not necessarily result in a disposal of any of the AFP operations.

BBVA, covering 32 countries, focuses on banking, pension and insurance in Spain, Portugal, Mexico and South America, with banking operations in the US and Puerto Rico.

It also has business units Corporate and Investment Banking and Global Retail & Business Banking offering retail banking, commercial, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) banking, payment systems, consumer finance and private banking among other products and services.


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