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Charlotte Observer: BofA buys stake in Mexican bank

Bank of America is paying $1.6 billion in cash for a 24.9 percent stake of Mexico’s third-largest bank, Grupo Financiero Santander Serfin.

U.S. banks have been scrambling to attract the $10 billion money-transfer market between the United States and Latin America, with commissions in excess of $1 billion. Funds being transferred to the region are expected reach $18 billion by 2003, according to a November report by the Pew Hispanic Center. Banks have captured less than 7 percent of the money-transfer market, which is dominated by First Data Corp.’s Western Union.

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