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Mexican regulator approves $1.6 billion deal for BBVA pension fund

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's antitrust agency approved the $1.6 billion acquisition of BBVA's pension fund by Grupo Financiero Banorte and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), Banorte said on Wednesday.

Banorte and the IMSS, a state-run health organization, will operate Mexico's biggest pension fund, with nearly one-third of the total market.

The deal, announced late last month and already approved by Mexico's pension fund regulator, has all the necessary authorizations to complete the acquisition, the bank said.

Banorte, which runs Mexico's No. 4 bank by assets, has been actively bulking up its operations in the country. Last year, it bought boutique bank Ixe, which gave it access to a portfolio of wealthy clients.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Veronica Gomez; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)