Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Grenada PM not surprised by Scotiabank sale

Published:Friday | November 30, 2018 | 10:10 AM
Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell - CMC photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says he's happy to see a Caribbean institution playing an even bigger role in the banking system arising from the decision by Scotiabank to sell its operations in nine Caribbean countries.

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

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.

But, while Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said his administration would not be issuing a vesting order to facilitate the sale, Mitchell, who is also the Finance Minister in Grenada, said he would not move to block the sale.

“I am happy to see a Caribbean institution playing an even bigger role in the banking system in this country,” Mitchell said, noting that while he lamented the fact that the Canadian bank was moving out, he was also very supportive of competition.

“While we see less competition, the fact is we still have diversity in the banking sector,” he said, noting that the Co-operative Bank in Grenada is the largest bank in his country.

“And it happens to be not just Caribbean owned, but locally owned.”

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