1.1 What are the main trends/significant developments in the lending markets in your jurisdiction?
According to the Chilean Banks and Financial Institutions Association ("ABIF"), during 2015 the growth of credit was a modest 4.2% with respect to 2014. The housing sector played a significant role due to certain amendments to the value added tax ("VAT") regime on the sale of real estate introduced by the 2014 tax reform, which produced an acceleration in this sector in order to benefit from an exemption regime. The energy sector continued being very active, with local banks increasing their involvement, where the trend is to step away from exposure to spot market prices and accept power purchase agreements ("PPAs") with distribution companies as acceptable alternatives to the traditional PPAs. Finally, it is worth noting, the enactment of Law No. 20,855, in force since January 23, 2016, which in general terms, allocates to lenders the obligation to formally release mortgages or pledges without conveyance once the secured obligations have been fully paid.
1.2 What are some significant lending transactions that have taken place in your jurisdiction in recent years?
By amount and relevance in the banking industry, an unsecured loan from Scotiabank Chile to Cencosud Administradora de Tarjetas ("CAT"), a card issuer in the retail sector, for up to USD3 billion, as part of the acquisition by Scotiabank Chile of 51% of CAT, and the indirect acquisition of other related companies (including an insurance broker company).
By parties involved, the financing credit facility for up to USD 1,217 million for the development of the Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project, a 531 MW run-of-the-river plant, owned by AES Gener (60%) and Antofagasta Minerals (40%). The deal involved the IFC, OPIC and IDB and several local and foreign banks in a highly controversial project in the vicinity of Chile's capital.
2.1 Can a company guarantee borrowings of one or more other members of its corporate group (see below for questions relating to fraudulent transfer/financial assistance)?
Following certain corporate requirements depending on the type of company involved, provided the guarantor benefits somehow from these operations, and subject to applicable insolvency, liquidation, reorganisation, moratorium or similar laws relating to or affecting creditors' rights generally, and general principles of fairness, including, without limitation, concepts of...