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Chile's Grupo Security eyes growth opportunities in Peru

With Chile's economy mired in an economic slump and facing sluggish growth in the coming years, Grupo Security SA, which has operations in the banking and insurance sectors, plans to expand its operations in Peru after recently acquiring Peruvian insurer Protecta SA Compañía de Seguros, Grupo Security chairman Francisco Silva told La Tercera in an interview.

Grupo Security, through its life insurance unit Vida Security, bought 61% of Protecta in mid-2015. Peru's insurance industry is less consolidated than Chile's and Grupo Security sees Peru as key to its future growth plans, Silva said, adding the company will monitor its Peruvian business closely and "seek new ways to grow there."

Grupo Security, which also owns Peruvian travel insurer Travex Security, is not the only Chilean group to see potential in Peru's insurance industry - Consorcio Financiero SA also recently acquired a minority stake in Peruvian insurer La Positiva Seguros y Reaseguros SA.

In addition to Peru, Grupo Security is eyeing growth opportunities in Asia and is modernizing technology at its Chilean banking subsidiary, Banco Security SA, Silva said.

Although rumors about Grupo Security's imminent acquisition of another bank are unfounded, Silva said the group is "essentially opportunistic" and that, after 14 acquisitions in 25 years, it could be open to further purchases in order to continue expanding.