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Corpbanca Jumps in Chile After Report of Itau M&A Deal

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Corpbanca SA, the lender controlled by billionaire Alvaro Saieh, rose the most on record after Diario Financiero reported that Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holding SA agreed to buy a majority stake.

Shares climbed 9 percent to 7.47 pesos at the close in Santiago. Trading was temporarily suspended today after it earlier surged 17 percent. The American depositary receipts increased 6.3 percent to $21.05 at 3:10 p.m. New York time.

“Corpbanca confirms that it continues analyzing offers,” the lender said in a regulatory filing. “Corpbanca hasn’t signed any preliminary or definitive agreements.”

The bank denied in the filing Diario Financiero’s report that said the board would vote early next week on selling a majority stake to Itau. The newspaper said the deal valued the Chilean lender at $7.4 billion and gave Saieh at least one seat on the merged entity’s board, citing people close to the talks without identifying them. The valuation is 68 percent higher than Corpbanca’s market capitalization yesterday.

Itau declined by e-mail to comment on the report and referred to a previous filing in Brazil in which it confirmed talks with Corpbanca. Its shares gained 2.2 percent to 32.10 reais in Sao Paulo.

Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA said today in a regulatory filing in Spain that it’s taking part in the Corpbanca sale process and that it’s too soon to say if an agreement will be reached. Diario Financiero had said that BBVA was no longer in the race.

Colombia-born Saieh, who has a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago and whose family immigrated to Chile when he was 3 years old, built Corpbanca into the country’s fifth-biggest bank by assets.

The lender’s shares have surged 58 percent since Aug. 28, when they reached their lowest since June 2010 on concern it would be hurt by the financially distressed retailer SMU SA, which is also controlled by Saieh.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Walsh at bwalsh8@bloomberg.net

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