Corpbanca Gains in Chile After Disclosing Exposure to SMU

Corpbanca, the Chilean lender controlled by billionaire Alvaro Saieh, snapped a three-day losing streak after saying its exposure to Saieh’s grocery, SMU SA, is within legal limits and doesn’t pose a risk to capital.

The shares increased 1.2 percent to 5.25 pesos at 11:45 a.m. in Santiago, after falling by 5.4 percent in the three previous sessions. The benchmark Chilean IPSA index retreated 0.1 percent today.

Corpbanca, Chile’s fourth-largest non-state-owned bank, said in an e-mailed statement late on July 19 that exposure to SMU accounts for 0.2 percent of loans, and that it complies with local laws governing lending between related companies. The shares had fallen last week to the lowest since July 2010 amid speculation that Saieh could redeem shares or borrow from his banking group to help fund a planned $500 million capital increase at SMU.

“Corpbanca is clarifying its exposure to SMU, and that is giving some relief to the market,” Gustavo Catalan, an analyst at Banco de Credito e Inversiones (BCI), said in a telephone interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at

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