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Santander Chile Falls on Earnings Slowdown Concern (Update1)

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood
     Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Santander Chile, the nation’s biggest lender, fell the most on the main stock index on concern the global economic slowdown will reduce earnings.
     The Santiago-based bank declined for the third time in four days, sliding 3.8 percent to 20.21 pesos. Its American depositary receipts lost as much as 3.5 percent.
     “Banco Santander is the most liquid of Chile’s banks,” Juan Partida, an analyst at UBS, said by phone from Mexico City today. “U.S. banks are falling sharply today and when there is a problem or increase in aversion towards the global financial sector, normally the one that gets hit the hardest in Chile is Banco Santander.”
     U.S. stocks erased last week’s gains after manufacturing showed a worsening economic slump. Financial companies in the S&P 500 lost 4 percent as a group.
     Chile’s gross domestic product will expand 2 percent next year, according to the median estimate of 26 economists polled between Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Analysts have cut their growth forecasts in each of the last three monthly surveys from the 4.2 percent growth rate the survey forecast in September.


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