SAO PAULO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The International Finance Corp, the investment banking unit of the World Bank, agreed on Wednesday to endorse a planned merger between a unit of Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Chile’s CorpBanca SA, in a huge boost to the largest Latin American banking tie-up since 2008.
The IFC and its asset management division are working with CorpBanca and Itau, Latin America’s largest bank by market value, to finalize the documentation formalizing their consent to the merger, said an IFC spokesperson.
IFC was a key shareholder in Santiago-based CorpBanca. The decision comes after investment fund Cartica LLC fought the plan citing poor disclosure and the refusal of Itau to extend the purchase of a stake in CorpBanca to minority shareholders.
“The merger is consistent with our original investment strategy and will create an even stronger regional financial player in Latin America, with more capacity to support companies and access to finance in the region,” the spokesperson said in comments sent by e-mail. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal)