Bloomberg News

BBVA to Spend $114 Million in Colombia, Open to Acquisition

December 20, 2011

(Updates Cabrera comment in fourth paragraph.)

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s second-biggest lender, will spend 220 billion pesos ($114 million) to expand in Colombia next year and is open to an acquisition there, said Oscar Cabrera, the bank’s local unit president.

“Our goal in Colombia is to grow,” Cabrera told reporters in Bogota. Next year’s expansion will include 19 new offices, he said.

BBVA has no plans to sell Latin America assets to meet new European capital requirements, Cabrera said. Madrid-based Banco Santander SA agreed Dec. 6 to sell a 95 percent stake in its Colombian unit to CorpBanca, Chile’s sixth-largest lender by assets, for about $1.16 billion.

“There’s no interest in selling in Latin America,” Cabrera said. “One doesn’t sell where there’s good news, and this is the region with the most positive prospects.”

--Editor: Richard Richtmyer

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Bogota at bschmidt16@bloomberg.net

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


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