BEST DEBT HOUSE
BEST M&A HOUSE
There are now two big banks in Chile, Santander Santiago and Banco Chile. Santander started off the year bigger and better, and only improved over the course of 2004: it increased its loan porfolio by 13.1%, with loans to individuals up 22.3% and loans to small and medium-size enterprises up 20.7%. Deposits rose even faster, and past-due loans fell a very impressive 19.3%. Its net income of $355 million easily beat Chile's $273 million, and its return on assets of 1.87% also pipped Chile's 1.7%. But the competition is stiff, and Chile remains a formidable competitor in a mature market.
The best debt house in Chile is Citigroup, which was bookrunner on the sovereign's $600 million floating-rate note, as well as $500 million in bonds for state oil company Codelco.
The latter deal, thanks to a concerted sales effort in Singapore and Korea, managed to come in 5bp below the sovereign curve.
Codelco also issued a $600 million syndicated loan through Citigroup – just one of many large loans Citi originated in Chile, including $332 million for Collahuasi, $320 million for Colbún, and $600 million for Enersis-Endesa Chile.