CorpBanca to focus on mortgage, corporate segments

Monday, December 9, 2002

Chile's CorpBanca will focus on mortgage and corporate lending in a bid to raise its overall loan market share from 5.2% today to 10% in 2006, local daily La Segunda quoted CEO Mario Chamorro as saying.

CorpBanca is the sixth largest bank in Chile in terms of loans, up from twelfth place in 1995. In November it raised US$150mn through a local IPO to fund its ambitious expansion plan.

The bank has given a high priority to the mortgage and corporate segments because its participation in these areas is below the bank's average market share, Chamorro said. It has 1.6% of the mortgage market and is aiming for 5% during the next two or three years. In the corporate segment CorpBanca has a 2.9% market share, which it wants to raise above 5%.

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CorpBanca will continue to compete aggressively in its core segments of individual and small-and medium-sized business lending. According to Chamorro, the bank is taking advantage of opportunities in the wake of local mega-mergers to snap up clients.

While expansion of the branch network is not on the table, Chamorro said technology investments to improve efficiency would continue. With a ratio of 41.9%, CorpBanca is one of the most efficient players in the Chilean financial system.

CorpBanca is bullish on its performance this year, expecting to boost net income 18% to US$50mn and close the year with an ROE of 22.1%, compared to the forecast average for the financial system of 16.5%. One of the bank's strategic goals is to maintain an annual ROE of over 20%, he said.

CorpBanca is a subsidiary of Chilean financial group Corp Group, which is controlled by local businessman Alvaro Saieh. Corp Group also runs CorpBanca Venezuela and a branch in New York.