Roundup: BBVA to up stake in Forum, S&P rates Bapro, Tarjetas del Mar

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) is fine tuning the purchase of the 24.5% stake that Chilean businessman Juan Carlos Yarur holds in the country's largest non-bank car finance company, Forum, local daily El Mercurio reported.

Spain's BBVA bought a 51% stake in Forum in 2006, and the bank's purchase of Yarur's share is reportedly valued at US$150mn-200mn. The remaining 24.5% is in the hands of the local Avayú family.

Forum's car loan portfolio grew 36% last year, to 265bn pesos (US$565mn), and the company increased its earnings by 60% to 32.6bn pesos.

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S&P has assigned its B long-term counterparty credit rating to Argentine provincial bank Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Bapro). The outlook is stable, the agency said in a report.

The rating reflects the risk inherent for banks operating in Argentina and Bapro's subpar performance in the domestic market, mainly due to its low levels of efficiency and profitability, and insufficient capitalization, S&P said.

"In our view, the bank's significant franchise value, ranking as the second largest institution in the Argentine financial system, somewhat mitigates these weaknesses," the report reads.

To read the full report, go to this link

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Argentine bank Banco Galicia and its credit card subsidiary Tarjeta Naranja have bought a 98% stake in Tarjetas del Mar, the bank said in a filing sent to the local stock exchange.

The transaction is part of a restructuring move, as the bank indirectly owned 100% of Tarjeta del Mar through its Tarjetas Regionales credit card holding.