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BEST BANK: Banco de Chile
BEST DEBT HOUSE: Celfin Capital

Challenging the dominant position of Spain’s Santander in Chile, the second-largest bank, Banco de Chile, reported record profits of $332 million last year, 14% up on its performance in 2004, by targeting the lower income retail market and aggressively expanding its loan business. The bank aims to spend up to $40 million this year to open 40 new branches and aims to beat the 10% projected loan growth for the Chilean market as a whole in 2006. Banco de Chile, which has an 18% market share, is also trying to draw in the one million bankable Chileans who do not use the financial sector. The bank is rapidly increasing its network of CrediChile branches, which target middle- and low-income earners and small businesses.

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