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Santander Santiago



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.

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