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La Polar Posts Record Gain After Chile Supreme Court Ruling

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Empresas La Polar SA, seeking to avert its second bankruptcy in 13 years, rose by a record after a Chilean court cleared the department-store chain to restructure overdue client debt.

La Polar surged 26 percent, the biggest gain since the shares started trading in 2003, to 218.4 pesos at the close in Santiago, recovering ground lost in the previous seven days.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by consumer protection agency Sernac to prevent La Polar from negotiating new credit terms with all clients that the company had previously modified unilaterally in a $1 billion fraud case. Shares tumbled earlier this month after La Polar said it may have to set aside an additional $34.5 million in provisions because of a lower court suspension of all client debt restructuring. That ban was subsequently limited to 1,000 clients involved in a class action lawsuit against the company.

“We are unaware of special circumstances that would explain the variation other that those opportunely informed by the company to the respective authorities and the market in general,” La Polar said in a written response to a Santiago stock exchange query on today’s share price surge.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Attwood in Santiago at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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