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Banco de Chile Favored by BICE Inversiones as E-CL Cut

Banco de Chile, Chile’s largest lender by assets, was added to Santiago-based brokerage BICE Inversiones’s list of favorite stocks, replacing power generator E-CL SA.

BICE added the lender to its list of 10 favorite Chilean stocks with an 8 percent weighting, citing the bank’s ability to withstand global economic turmoil.

“Banco de Chile stands out in the local market due to its low external risk, potential efficiency improvements and an adequate management of risk,” analysts Claudia Cavada and Rodrigo Jacob said in an e-mailed note to clients today. “We excluded E-CL, despite its fall this year, due to a lack of medium-term catalysts.”

BICE expects E-CL quarterly results to be hurt by rising fuel costs, a decline in rates for unregulated contracts and lower thermoelectric sales to the central power grid.

E-CL rose 0.1 percent to 1,158 pesos at 10:22 a.m. in Santiago, paring its retreat this year to 16 percent. Banco de Chile advanced 0.4 percent to 69.02 pesos. The stock has retreated 0.4 percent this year.

Power generator Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA and carrier Latam Airlines Group SA remain as BICE’s favorite local stocks, the analysts said.

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