BTG Pactual seeking to open bank in Chile- media

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:13am EST

* BTG recently bought Chile brokerage Celfin Capital

* Brazil's BTG seeking to extend regional reach

SANTIAGO Nov 29 (Reuters) - BTG Pactual Group will seek to open a bank in Chile for high net worth, institutional and corporate clients, close on the heels of its purchase of local brokerage Celfin Capital, Chief Executive Andre Esteves was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The Brazil-based bank bought Celfin at the beginning of this year to extend its reach into fast-growing economies like Chile, Peru and Colombia.

"We're going to apply for a banking license in Chile," Esteves told Chilean newspaper Diario Financiero's Thursday edition. "We can't predict (a time fame) but a reasonable calendar would be 6 months to receive the permit and between 6 months and one year for the bank to be operational."

Billionaire financier Esteves added a capital increase would not be needed to open the bank due to surpluses in Brazil.

Since it was formed it 2009, BTG Pactual has been on a deal-making frenzy in Brazil and abroad as Esteves, a 44-year-old financial wunderkind, strives to turn the firm into the largest investment bank in emerging markets by the end of the decade.

Apart from buying Celfin, which had operations in Colombia and Peru, BTG Pactual purchased Colombian securities firm Bolsa y Renta in June for about $52 million. The Celfin acquisition was approved by Brazil's central bank at the end of last month.