Itau Unibanco unit ponders issuing bonds abroad in 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Chilean unit of Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB) is considering issuing bonds abroad this year as part of its funding plan for 2011, Derek Sassoon, treasury division manager for Itau Chile, told BNamericas.

Last month, Itau Chile signed its first-ever US$200mn, two-year syndicated loan with a pool of 10 international banks to fund growth, especially in the corporate business segment and with companies who operate in US dollars.

"We are forecasting an increased demand for loans from customers in all segments in 2011. This includes mortgage and long-term loans denominated in local currency for corporate customers that we will finance with bonds in the local market," Sassoon said.

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Itau Chile has a 25-year senior bond worth 5mn of Chile's inflation-linked units known as the UF (107bn pesos, or US$216mn) in the pipeline. Fitch rated the issue AA- on a national scale.

Last month, the bank issued 1mn UF worth of five-year bonds, which were sold with a 3.54% coupon.

Banco Itau Chile is the country's eighth-largest bank, commanding a 3.5% loan market share.