AFP Capital points to La Polar's capital increase as reason for stock divestment

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chilean private pension fund manager AFP Capital - controlled by Dutch financial services firm ING (NYSE: ING) - cited the US$220mn capital increase that troubled retailer La Polar's shareholders approved two weeks ago as among the reasons behind its decision to shed the retailer's stock from its investment portfolio.

In a press release, AFP Capital said the capital increase was the "key element" that triggered its decision to divest, but noted that the decision had been building up for some time now.

On June 9, La Polar announced that it might have to set aside as much as 200bn pesos (US$430mn) in provisions for bad loans in its credit card portfolio and that it would restructure its management. It has since hiked that estimate to 538bn pesos, as BNamericas reported previously.

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AFP Capital said that only 0.04% of its assets under management were invested in La Polar's stock, and that it did not hold any debt from the retailer. The company added that "the future of La Polar will depend, in its vast majority, on the decisions taken by its bondholders."