* LQ Inversiones Financieras would remain majority owner
* Banco de Chile shares have soared in past year
SANTIAGO Jan 9 The majority shareholder of
Chilean bank Banco de Chile has launched a process to
sell up to 6.9 billion shares, which at current market value are
equivalent to roughly $963 million.
Banco de Chile said on Thursday it had accepted the
decision, which would reduce LQ Inversiones Financieras' stake
to 51 percent from its current 58.4 percent.
It was unclear why LQ, which is owned by the wealthy Chilean
Luksic family's Quinenco holding group and Citigroup
Inc, has decided to launch the process.
Calls to Quinenco went unanswered.
Banco de Chile, one of the country's biggest banks, has been
doing well. It posted a roughly $885 million profit in the
January to November 2013 period, according to the local banking
Shares have jumped roughly 40 percent in the last year,
according to Reuters data. They closed 1.13 percent lower on
Thursday, before the news was announced, at 74.38 pesos a piece,
according to the Santiago stock exchange.