LatAm pension funds

A freighter at the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal, owned by mining company Vale, in northern Brazil.©Bloomberg

As little as a year ago, Brazil’s greatest concern was the currency war – a tsunami of international funds that it believed was threatening to inundate its financial markets and those of other emerging countries.

Now, Brazilian real interest rates have fallen so low that, in a dramatic reversal, the country’s own pension funds are looking abroad. While their initial offshore investments will not amount to anything like a tsunami, it marks the start of what may prove to be an important step in the maturing of Brazil’s financial industry.

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Grupo Sura of Colombia has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Peru’s BBVA Horizonte pension fund for $514m.

Sura, which snapped up ING’s Latin American pensions assets in 2011 for $3.85bn and already controls another Peruvian pension fund, Integra, named Profuturo AFP, controlled by Scotiabank, as its strategic partner in the deal. Read more

It was bound to happen, it seems. BBVA said earlier this week that it is to sell its Colombian pension fund management business, AFP Horizonte, for about $530m.

The buyer will be no other than the local AFP Porvenir, the retirement business leg of Colombia’s powerful banking group, Grupo Aval. This continues with the trend started last year by one of Grupo Aval’s main competitors, Colombia’s Grupo Sura, which paid $3.6n for the regional assets of Dutch bancassurer ING Groep. Read more

Christmas has come early – for Chile’s Enersis.

Shareholders in the energy company have approved Chile’s biggest capital increase — a whopping sum of nearly $6bn (if you think that´s a lot, remember they were originally planning to seek $8bn).

It was not an easy path — Enersis battled pension funds, which are key investors in Chile, over the amount and minority shareholders baulked at the valuation of some of the assets that Spanish energy company Endesa said it would use to subscribe its share of the fundraising. Endesa, by the way, is owned by Enel of Italy. Read more

Intercorp, one of Peru’s largest lenders and retailers, is on a roll.

After a successful IPO launched in September for its retail wing, the company owned by Peru’s tycoon Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor has now received the green light from the Andean country’s regulator to create a private pension fund, AFP InteractivaRead more

Spain’s BBVA has agreed to sell its Mexican pension fund to local buyers for $1.6bn, the latest in a line of local asset sale by retreating Europeans.

Grupo Financiero Banorte, the only major bank that is Mexican-owned and Mexico’s Social Security Institute, known as IMSS, will share the cost for Afore Bancomer – as the pension fund unit is called – equally. Read more