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Falabella to launch financial services in Mexico at Soriana stores

Chileanretail group S.A.C.I. Falabellaand Mexican retailer OrganizaciónSoriana, SA de CV have signed on July 8 contracts to jointly develophome improvement stores and financial services in Mexico, Falabella said in a securitiesfiling.

Theyhave agreed to create two companies in these sectors with equal participation andinitial capital of $300 million each in the next five years, the filing said.

Falabellaplans to open 20 of its Sodimac home improvement stores in Mexico in the next fiveyears starting in 2017.

In termsof financial services, Falabella card issuer Promotora CMR Falabella SA will launch services in the short-termat Soriana stores in Mexico, and then later at Sodimac stores.

The ideais to generate a new value proposition for Mexican consumers including home improvementproducts and access to financial services, DiarioFinanciero reported, citing Falabella CEO Sandro Solari.

The dealfollows the recent announcement that Falabella's competitor, fellow Chilean departmentstore operator Ripley Corp. SA,has signed an agreementwith Mexican department store operator Liverpool which will launch a public offeringfor all of Ripley's shares, pending approval by Chilean banking regulator SBIF.

RipleyCorp. owns Banco Ripleywhile Falabella owns Banco Falabellain addition to Promotora CMR.