BRASILIA, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Chile's bank watchdog authorized Corpbanca's merger with the Chilean operations of Brazil's Itau Unibanco Holding SA, in one of the final hurdles for the conclusion of the deal by early 2016, Itau said on Saturday.
The new Itau Corpbanca is expected to be Chile's fourth largest private bank, with about $45.2 billion in assets and a loan book equivalent to $33 billion, Itau said in a note.
The two lenders announced their intention to merge in February 2014. The planned tieup has faced dissent from minority shareholders and demands this year for a revamp from Corpbanca after its market value shifted.
Earlier this year, Itau agreed to sweeten the deal to cut its own dividend and allow Corpbanca, which is controlled by Chilean billionaire Alvaro Saieh, to increase its payout. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione, editing by G Crosse)