Criteria CaixaCorp SA, the investment holding company for Spain’s biggest savings bank, named billionaire Carlos Slim to its board, tightening its relationship with its business partner.
Shareholders approved Slim’s appointment today, Criteria said in a regulatory filing. Criteria bought a 20 percent stake in Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, the Mexico City-based financial-services firm controlled by Slim, in 2008.
Criteria, the investment unit of Barcelona-based La Caixa, paid 1.5 billion euros ($1.86 billion) for the stake to gain access to Latin America. The companies haven’t yet acted on plans announced at the time of the deal to expand Mexico City- based Inbursa’s retail banking outside its home country.
Criteria has a stake of 5.2 percent in Madrid-based Telefonica SA (TEF), the second-biggest wireless carrier in Latin America behind America Movil SAB, the Mexico City-based mobile- phone company controlled by Slim.
Executives review the Criteria board’s agenda on a case-by- case basis for potential conflicts of interest, said Esther Roure, a spokeswoman for the investment company. Board members must recuse themselves from discussions when a conflict arises, she said.
Arturo Elias, a spokesman for Slim, and Miguel Angel Garzon, a Telefonica spokesman, didn’t return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.
Criteria fell 9 cents to 3.41 euros, and Telefonica dropped 21 cents to 15.43 euros in Madrid trading. Inbursa fell 41 centavos to 41.23 pesos, and America Movil declined 3 centavos to 30.67 pesos at 4:10 p.m. New York time in Mexico City.
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