Nigel Baptiste

PRESIDENT OF THE rfhl GROUP: Nigel Baptiste

REPUBLIC Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) yesterday announced that it closed the acquisition of seven Scotiabank operations in the Caribbean on October 31, 2019.

RFHL, which is the holding company for Port of Spain-based Republic Bank, formally acquired Scotia’s operations in Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

The acquisition of the seven banking operations followed the receipt of regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Central Bank of Curacao and St Maarten as well as the execution of the banking business vesting orders in five of the Eastern Caribbean territories.

Last November, Republic had announced it was acquiring nine Scotia operations—the seven that closed on Thursday, plus Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda—for US$123 million. But the authorities in Guyana and Antigua resisted accepting the sale of the Scotia operations in those country.

An­tigua and Bar­bu­da and Guyana had ini­tial­ly ex­pressed reser­va­tions about the pro­posed ac­qui­si­tion, with St John’s in­di­cat­ing that it would not be is­su­ing a vest­ing or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the move.

In a statement yesterday, Republic said the acquisition will add 350 team members to its staff complement, US$1.5 billion to the Group’s total asset size and US$20 million to its net profits. The total asset base of the Republic Group will grow to approximately US$14.5 billion ($98.5 billion) with profits of about US$260 million ($1.76 billion).

Expressing his appreciation to all those who contributed to the successful completion of the transaction, which was originally announced in November, 2018, chairman of the RFHL Group, Ronald F. deC. Harford stated: “I would like to express my thanks to the many regulators and the governments of the seven countries for their expressions of confidence in the Group. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the staff of both RFHL and Scotiabank who worked tirelessly to make today a reality. I assure all of the group’s stakeholders that their confidence and efforts are not misplaced and that the Group is looking forward to creating tremendous value in all seven jurisdictions.”

RFHL has established a new subsidiary in St Lucia, Republic Bank (EC) Ltd, which will serve as the head office for the Eastern Caribbean operations, excluding Grenada. Scotia’s Grenada operations have been merged with the Group’s existing subsidiary in Grenada, Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited. A new subsidiary has also been established in St Maarten, Republic Bank (St Maarten) N.V. to oversee the operations in that territory.

As indicated, when the transaction was first announced, there was no loss of jobs by staff in any country. In welcoming all the new bank employees to Republic Bank, President of the RFHL Group, Nigel Baptiste, said: “The RFHL Group is built on our people, since we believe that is what differentiates us from any other financial institution. It was important to us that the people behind the success of Scotia’s operations in each country continued to be the main drivers of the success of our new operations in those countries. I am very pleased to welcome each of them to the Republic family and I look forward to their growth and ours, in the years and decades to come.”

...but Sagicor not getting

Scotia’s Jca insurer

IN a related story, Scotiabank said yesterday that it had arrived at a mutual agreement with Sagicor Financial Corporation not to proceed with the 20-year distribution agreement for insurance products and solutions in Jamaica.

As a result, Sagicor will not proceed with the acquisition of Scotiabank Insurance Jamaica at this time, the Sagicor said in a statement.

In November 2018, Scotia and Sagicor had announced that Sagicor was to acquire Scotia’s insurance businesses in Jamaica and T&T.

In the statement, Sagicor said Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation and Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Ltd and itself remained parties to a share purchase agreement dated November 27, 2018, pursuant to which Sagicor agreed to establish a 20-year distribution agreement for insurance products and solutions in T&T, and acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of Scotiabank Insurance Trinidad and Tobago, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.

Sagicor continues to pursue the transactions contemplated in the Trinidad sales and purchase agreement.


SCOTIABANK’s senior vice president Caribbean South & East Stephen Bagnarol is in St Kitts and Nevis finalising matters relating to the transfer of the bank’s operations to Republic Bank.

ONE day last week—it must have been Tuesday, my offday—I was flipping through the newsroom of the T&T Stock Exchange website, when I came across a notice that read: “The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited (TTSE) received notice from Massy advising that a shareholder connected to a director purchased 109,273 Massy shares on October 21, 2019.” That’s interesting, I thought to myself, as I headed directly to the pulldown menu that allows viewers to get all of the recent notices of the companies listed on the local stock exchange.

“CONTINUE to do well. Study hard. You will have the responsibility of building a better Trinidad and Tobago. We are proud of you.” So said Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus while delivering the feature address at the prize-giving ceremony for the Poster and Essay Competition on “The Future of Work” in Commemoration of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 100th anniversary at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday.

EXACTLY one year after the shareholders of the West Indian Tobacco Company Ltd (WITCO) approved a three-for-one share split, the owners of the cigarrete-producing company are still waiting on approval from the Ministry of Finance.