The microfinance unit of Chilean state bank BancoEstado expects to close this year with 14% loan growth, the unit's general manager María Soledad Ovando told BNamericas.
BancoEstado Microempresas is likely to finish 2011 with a loan portfolio of 584bn pesos (US$1.13bn) and then it aims to close 2012 with a portfolio of 607bn pesos, she said.
Ovando said that BancoEstado now has around 425,000 clients and increasing this number is no longer a priority as it prefers to focus on creating a deeper relationship with these clients. She also added that it would be healthy for the local microfinance sector if private banks increase their microlending efforts.
BancoEstado is by far the largest player in Chile's microcredit market, with a 62% share in terms of clients, according to the bank's own estimations.
The full interview with Ovando will be published in this week's Banking Perspectives, for subscribers only.