Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Scotiabank to sell insurance operations in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago

Published:Tuesday | November 27, 2018 | 10:03 AM
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OTTAWA, Canada, CMC – The Bank of Nova Scotia Tuesday confirmed that it would be selling its insurance operations in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as part of a shake-up of its businesses that also included the plans to exit nine Caribbean countries.

The bank, which has operated in the Caribbean since 1989, said that it would sell its insurance operations in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to Sagicor Financial Corporation, with whom it will partner to sell insurance products in those countries.

Earlier, the Trinidad-based Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) Tuesday said it had entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in nine Caribbean countries.

“This acquisition represents another major milestone for the Republic Group. As we grow and acquire significant positions in our existing markets, it is important that we continue to broaden our footprint, regionally and internationally,” said RFHL chairman, Ronald F deC. Harford.

A RFHL statement said that the banks being acquired are located in Guyana, St Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It said that the purchase price is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries.

“This price does not include any amounts required to capitalise the branches post-closing. The agreement, executed on November 27, 2018, signalled the commencement of a transaction that is subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions,” the RFHL added.

“Scotiabank is proud to work with the Republic Group, a leader in financial services in the Caribbean who is well positioned to invest and grow the business, and to provide customers across the region with leading financial solutions that meet their needs,” said Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.

It said the transactions are not material to Scotiabank but will result in its core tier 1 capital ratio, a key measure of its financial strength, increasing by 10 basis points when the deals, which are subject to regulatory approvals, close.

The bank reported adjusted earnings per share of CAD$1.77 in the quarter ended October 31, up eight per cent but marginally below the average forecast by analysts of $1.79 per share.

For the full year, Scotiabank reported a seven per cent increase in earnings at its Canadian business to CAD$4.4-billion, helped by improved margins as it benefited from five Bank of Canada rate hikes since last summer and growth in customer deposits.

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