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Peru's SBS seeks more clout on M&A approvals

The Peruvian bank regulator proposed in Congress to get a binding say on M&A approvals, during the preliminary discussions of the merger law, El Comercio reported.

If approved, the proposal would put the Insurance and Bank Superintendency, known as SBS, on an equal footing with the country's competition watchdog, Indecopi. So far, only the latter has a definitive say on the viability of M&A.

Currently, SBS' opinion on possible M&A in the financial system is pondered only as a "prudential" judgment, Javier Poggi, head of the institution, reportedly said.

The goal of SBS is to "protect the general public because it focuses on evaluating if the resulting company is viable in the long term," Poggi was quoted as saying.

Additionally, the economy ministry and Indecopi requested further modifications during the preliminary debates of the M&A bill, known as the Preliminary Control of Operations of Economic Concentration.

The institution wants to remove the 40% market share threshold that triggers regulatory oversight on M&A operations, as well as to raise the minimum value of scrutinized operations from 420 million to 495.6 million Peruvian soles.

As of March 19, US$1 was equivalent to 3.30 Peruvian soles.