Citicorp will enter the $550 million Peruvian home mortgage market this year, a spokeswoman for the banking company has confirmed.

Bank officials told Dow Jones Newswires last week that they expect to place about $80 million in mortgage loans in the first year and eventually to capture 25% of the market, which is currently dominated by Peru's Banco de Credito, a unit of the Credicorp holding company.

Citicorp has been gradually extending the scope of its consumer banking operations in Peru.

The U.S. company entered the Peruvian consumer market two years ago with credit cards, and in recent months has increased its Peruvian branches to 11 from three by opening minibranches in Blockbuster Video outlets.

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