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BANORTE buys IXE’s Afore (Pension Fund) business and lists ADR’s as part of it’s Global Expansion startegy

BANORTE (the only remaining 100% Mexican owned bank) is continuing with it’s global expansion strategy. After listing it’s shares on the Spanish / Latin American stock exchange LATIBEX on June 9th and ADR listing in the US Pinksheet OTC market, it acquired the pension fund (Afores) portfolio of IXE bank extending it’s Afore portfolio to 3.5 million accounts. In February 2009 it signed an cooperation agreement with China Development Bank,giving both banks access to bank payment and transfer service in México, China and the USA. (Note by FiNETIK, 11.06.2009)

MEXICO CITY, June 10 (Reuters) – Banorte, one of Mexico’s top banks, said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy a pension fund business from a smaller rival and that it listed its stock on the U.S. over-the-counter market.

Banorte’s (GFNORTEO.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) Generali unit will absorb Ixe’s (IXEGFO.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) 312,489 pension clients, whose combined accounts are worth 5.45 billion pesos ($399 million).The transaction is subject to approval from Mexico’s competition agency. In Mexico, workers in the private sector save for their retirements in pension funds known as Afores.

With this acquisition Banorte will be ranked 4th in Mexico’s Afores account holding, managing a total 3.2 million pension account. (El Universal, 11.06.2009)

In a separate announcement, Banorte said it had listed its stock through pink sheets (GBOOY.PK: Quote, Profile, Research) in the U.S. over-the-counter market. Companies sometimes tap this less-regulated market before leaping into a larger exchange.

Banorte sees the over-the-counter market as a possible prelude to listing its ADRS on the New York Stock Exchange, a bank source told Reuters.

Only a handful of Mexican companies, like tycoon Carlos Slim’s telecom giants America Movil (AMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) or Telefonos de Mexico (TMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), trade their American Depositary Receipts on big U.S. markets with healthy liquidity.

Some Mexican corporations have withdrawn their shares from U.S. markets in recent years to avoid tighter scrutiny from U.S. securities regulators.

Source: Reuters, 10.06.2009, Banking News (ADR Depository), 11.06.2009

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