Fimbank has acquired a controlling stake in First Factors Servicios Financieros, a Chilean factoring house.

The 51% acquisition heralds the Malta-based bank’s second joint venture (JV) in Latin America. It currently provides factoring services to clients in Brazil through BrasilFactors.

Fimbank group president, Margrith Lütschg Emmenegger, says the acquisition demonstrates the bank’s strategy to grow its international network and to “further extend our factoring franchise in the region”.

“The dynamic expansion of south-south trade in recent years created new trading opportunities in inter-regional trade, particularly between the Americas and Africa,” she adds. “With our two JVs in Latin America we are better positioned to benefit from the increase in trade flows.”

Established in 2005, First Factors specialises in both recourse and non-recourse factoring and financial leasing. It operates six branches throughout the country, strategically located near key industries like forestry, mining and fishing.

In a statement, CEO Carlos Baudrand says that First Factors will be rebranded to Latam Factors in the coming weeks, reflecting the broader remit of the company following Fimbank’s acquisition.

“With a strong institutional investor we can now build beyond Chile’s borders and actively seek factoring business, particularly in countries such as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico,” adds Baudrand.