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Italian BNL Confirms Leaving Argentina Despite Growing Profits

Italian BNL Confirms Leaving Argentina Despite Growing Profits

Invertia - Argentina Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) confirmed it will leave the Argentine market despite its growing profits on such market, the bank said on November 14, 2005.

The profit of BNL in Argentina stood at $482 mln (412.18 mln euro) from January to September 2005, up 93 pct year-on-year. BNL is considered as the 6th largest Italian bank. The total profit of BNL stood at 2.184 bln euro ($2.55 bln) from January to September 2005.

BNL is currently searching for potential buyers of its Argentine operations. BNL wants to sell its Argentine offices for $205 mln (175.3 mln euro).

The sale is part of BNL's restructuring plan, which includes the sale of its 1.43 pct stake in Brazilian bank Unibanco SA for 56.3 mln euro ($65.84 mln).

BNL's shareholders include Spanish bank BBVA with a 14.9 pct stake, Italian insurer Generali with an 8.5 pct stake and Italian industrial group Della Valle with a 5.07 pct stake.

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