UPDATE 1-HSBC's sale of Uruguay bank falls through after 2 years
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - HSBC said the planned sale of its banking business in Uruguay had collapsed, almost two years after it agreed to sell the business to Banco GNB Sudameris.
HSBC, Europe's biggest bank by market value, said on Monday the deal fell through after a deadline to complete by March 31 passed. It declined to say why the two banks did not come to an agreement in time.
HSBC said it would explore alternatives for a sale of the business.
HSBC agreed in May 2012 to sell its operations in Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay for $400 million to Banco GNB Sudameris, a financial group controlled by Grupo Gilinski, a family of Colombian bankers with a long record in the industry. The sale of the operations in the first three countries went through.
HSBC has exited several countries in Latin America as part of a retreat from countries where it lacked scale or was unprofitable, sometimes due to higher regulatory costs.
The bank did not say how much the Uruguay operation made up of the original deal value. HSBC had 62 branches across the four countries covered in the deal, including 11 in Uruguay. It had been expected to complete the Uruguay sale in the first quarter of 2013.
(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore and Steve Slater in London; Editing by Larry King)
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