Shares of Chile pension fund Provida tumble after MetLife buy

SANTIAGO Fri Feb 1, 2013 8:34am EST

SANTIAGO Feb 1 (Reuters) - Shares of Chilean pension company AFP Provida were down 6.34 percent on Friday morning after MetLife Inc, the biggest U.S. life insurer, said it has agreed with BBVA to buy it for about $2 billion.

"The market expected a higher purchase price. It had been internalized since the takeover bid for Cuprum was announced ... that Provida would be valued at similar multiples. And now (shares) are falling and nearing closer to the price MetLife is ultimately going to pay," said Rodrigo Andaur, head of research at FIT Research in Santiago.

Principal Financial Group agreed in October to buy Chilean pension company AFP Cuprum for about $1.51 billion to expand in emerging markets.

Chile's private pension fund system has attracted investor attention due to high returns and robust local economic growth.