* Aims to become Latam fund manager of reference
* Runs 76 bln euros in mutual fund assets
* Total assets including institutional money at 147 bln eur
By Chris Vellacott
LONDON, March 2 The asset management arm of
Spanish bank BBVA (BBVA.MC) aims to build a business worth more
than 7 billion euros ($9.67 billion) running Latin American
portfolios for global institutional clients, a senior executive
Luisa Gomez Bravo, head of global asset management said the
bank aims to establish an institutional client base seeking its
expertise in the region, accounting for about 10 percent of its
76 billion euros in fund assets "within three to five years".
"It is an ambitious challenge for us but one which we feel
is our natural strategic next step," Gomez Bravo said.
BBVA has focused its push in Asia, where it has identified
increased interest in Latin America from local institutional
investors, reflecting growing trade flows between the two
The bank also plans to seek clients in the Middle East
before rolling out the business globally, Gomez Bravo said.
"We already have the investment and risk infrastructure in
place and we think there is an opportunity for us of leveraging
our existing franchise and our know-how of the region," she
BBVA, alongside rival Santander (SAN.MC), is a leading
player in Latin American financial services having aggressively
expanded into the region since the 1990s.
More than half of BBVA's profit comes from Mexico and South
America. The fast-growing Latin American economies are
compensating for a stagnant domestic market in Spain, hampered
by the fall-out from a property boom and bust.
Including institutional money, much of which comprises Latin
American pension funds, BBVA runs assets of 147 billion euros.
It also has a presence in Asia, particularly China and Hong
Kong having built a roughly 15 percent stake in China CITIC Bank
BBVA has sought to further reduce its exposure to Spain's
sluggish economy and announced a move into Turkey in October,
widening its geographical spread from the Americas.
(Additional reporting by Sonya Dowsett in Madrid; Editing by
(For the Funds Hub blog: blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)
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