Grupo Sura of Colombia has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Peru’s BBVA Horizonte pension fund for $514m. Sura, which snapped up ING’s Latin American pensions assets in 2011 for $3.85bn and already controls another Peruvian pension fund, Integra, named Profuturo AFP, controlled by Scotiabank, as its strategic partner in the deal.
Peru’s big four pension funds – Horizonte, Integra, Profuturo and Prima – jointly manage about $39bn, and have long clamoured for the central bank to further raise the limit of how much they can invest overseas. This month the country’s banking regulator gave the go-ahead for an increase to 40 per cent of total assets, from 34 per cent. Just a year ago the limit was set at 30 per cent.
Peru’s government has criticized the industry for imposing high commissions and fees and is attempting to overhaul the system to broaden coverage – only about a third of eligible workers currently pay into the funds – and attract new fund managers. Last December, it gave Intercorp, the main shareholder of Peruvian bank Interbank, approval to launch its own pension fund, Interactiva. Habitat, one of Chile’s top three pension fund managers, is also entering the market, pledging to undercut competitors’ fees by up to 70 per cent.