A PYMNTS Company

Chile: Government remains uncommitted on possible SQM sale

 |  March 20, 2018

The Chilean government has not yet defined whether to back the complaint filed last week by the former executive vice president of Corfo, Eduardo Bitran, before the National Economic Prosecutor (FNE) to avoid the sale of 32% of the SQM mining company (now in the hands of Canadian company Nutrien) to any company controlled by the Chinese state.

“There has been no decision on (whether to support or not) this issue (…) In this case, in particular, we have to analyze the scope properly,” a government source told Reuters. “It’s a subject that we have to look into. Chile’s policy, in general, is not to block by nationality. Blocking by nationality does not fit.” he continued.

As Bitran explained in the document addressed to the FNE, in addition to SQM, the Atacama salt flats are exploited by the American Albemarle, which in turn is a partner of Tianqi in Talison Lithium. A greater presence by the Asian company, or another company affiliated with the government of China, could create distortions in the global lithium market.

Given the large impact at a global level that could arise from this operation, Bitrán asked the FNE to act in coordination with competition entities in other countries to provide greater research background.

Full Content: La Tercera

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.