* Banorte strengthens pension fund business in Mexico
* Not currently eyeing BBVA’s funds in Peru and Colombia
MEXICO CITY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Grupo Financiero Banorte is not currently considering buying Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria’s pension funds in Colombia and Peru, the Mexican group’s Chairman Guillermo Ortiz told Reuters on Wednesday.
Banorte, which runs one of Mexico’s biggest financial groups, on Tuesday announced it had reached a deal to buy BBVA’s pension fund in Mexico in conjunction with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), in a deal valued at $1.6 billion.
“Not for the time being,” Ortiz, the former head of Mexico’s central bank, said when asked if Banorte was also pursuing BBVA’s assets in Peru and Colombia. “But of course we do not rule out anything.”
Banorte and the IMSS, a state-run health organization, will run Mexico’s biggest pension fund, with some 12 million accounts or about one-third of the market, once the BBVA deal gets final authorization from the pension regulator.
Banorte, Mexico’s No. 4 bank by assets, has been actively bulking up its operations in the country. Last year, the group bought boutique bank Ixe, which gave it access to Ixe’s portfolio of wealthy clients.
The group shares rose 1.16 percent to 74.97 pesos Wednesday afternoon on the Mexican stock exchange.