08 April 2009

Chile’s Pinera to Transfer Stock Holdings This Month

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood
April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Sebastian Pinera, the presidential candidate for the Alliance for Chile coalition, said he plans to begin handing over control of his stock holdings before this
year’s elections.

“In April I’m going to transfer voluntarily the administration of all investments in public companies to Chilean financial institutions,” Pinera told reporters today in images broadcast by the Catholic University station.

The entrepreneur-turned-politician, who lost the last presidential election to Michelle Bachelet, will place shares in a blind trust to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, newspaper La Tercera reported today.

Pinera controls the country’s biggest air carrier, Lan Airlines SA, via an agreement with Chile’s Cueto family. He was fined almost $700,000 in July 2007 for buying Lan shares prior to the release of quarterly earnings.

Pinera sold his remaining stock in Farmacias Ahumada SA for about $2.4 million on April 3 after the pharmacy chain admitted to fixing medicine prices with rivals, La Tercera wrote, citing unidentified people at Santiago’s stock exchange.