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CIBC to sell stake in Caribbean operations for US$797 million

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell a significant portion of its majority stake in CIBC FirstCaribbean (“FirstCaribbean”) to GNB Financial Group Limited (“GNB”). Under the terms of the agreement, GNB is acquiring 66.73% of FirstCaribbean shares from CIBC for total consideration of US$797 million, which represents a company valuation of approximately US$1,195 million, subject to closing adjustments to reflect certain changes in FirstCaribbean’s book value prior to closing.

“We continue to build a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world, and this strategic transaction will sharpen our focus on our core businesses,” said Shawn Beber, Senior Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Development, CIBC. “FirstCaribbean is a well-performing business and we believe this transaction will support its long-term growth prospects while creating value for its stakeholders as well as those of CIBC. As an investor in FirstCaribbean, we intend to work closely with GNB Financial Group to support continued growth for the business.”

“FirstCaribbean will remain the strong entity it is today, committed to servicing its clients in the region,” said Jaime Gilinski, Chairman of GNB Financial Group Limited. “I have been impressed by the strength and stability of FirstCaribbean and am excited about its prospects for the future.”

GNB is wholly owned by Starmites Corporation S.ar.L, the financial holding company of the Gilinski Group. The Gilinski Group has banking operations in ColombiaPeruParaguayPanama, and Cayman Islands with approximately US$15 billion in combined assets.

The total consideration is comprised of approximately US$200 million in cash and secured financing provided by CIBC for the remainder. Following the close of the transaction, CIBC will remain a 24.9% minority shareholder of FirstCaribbean and will benefit from various minority shareholder protections, as well as liquidity rights in respect of its minority stake.

CIBC’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio is expected to improve by over 40 bps on closing. The transaction is expected to result in an after-tax loss of approximately C$135 million that will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing a reduction of the carrying value of goodwill related to FirstCaribbean. Upon closing, CIBC will realize accumulated foreign currency translation gains relating to FirstCaribbean, estimated to be approximately C$280 million based on exchange rates as of 31 October 2019, and will also recognize the impact of any closing adjustments and its minority stake.

The agreement is expected to be completed in 2020, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals, and both CIBC and GNB are working closely to ensure a smooth transition for clients and team members.

CIBC

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Caribbean & World

International Universal Health Coverage Day

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Girl visiting pediatrician. Photo: WHO

Universal health coverage is integral to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, our blueprint of a better future for people and planet. On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to health for all as an investment in humanity, wellbeing and prosperity for everyone.

Secretary-General António Guterres

International Universal Health Coverage Day 2019: Keep the promise

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care – as an essential priority for international development. On 12 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138.

International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.

 

Following the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage on 23 September 2019 — where world leaders endorsed the most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration on health in history – the theme for the UHC Day 2019 campaign is: “Keep the promise.”

Governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector, academia, and media are encouraged to use this year’s theme to keep holding leaders, our health systems and ourselves accountable to the promise of health for all.

More information can be found on the official campaign microsite: www.UHCDay.org.

 

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Caribbean & World

RBC announces sale of Eastern Caribbean banking operations

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Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) today announced it has entered into definitive agreements to sell all banking operations in the Eastern Caribbean to a consortium of indigenous banks within the region.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to be finalised in the coming months.

“Consistent with our strategy of being a competitive leader in the markets where we operate, RBC is always evaluating opportunities for our business. Earlier this year, we were approached by a consortium of indigenous banks with their proposal to acquire all RBC Eastern Caribbean operations,” said Rob Johnston, Head, RBC Caribbean Banking. “After a review of our operations and strategy, we determined this opportunity was a good decision for the long-term future success of RBC Caribbean, and also, that it aligned with our vision to help our clients thrive and communities prosper,” he said.

The sale encompasses the branches of Royal Bank of Canada in Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, as well as regional businesses operating under RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited in Nevis, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Collectively, these operations are referred to as “RBC Eastern Caribbean”. The consortium of five financial entities purchasing includes 1st National Bank of St Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank Ltd, National Bank of Dominica Ltd, the Bank of Montserrat, and Bank of Nevis Ltd.

Johnathan Johannes, Managing Director, 1st National Bank of St Lucia, shared, “We formed the consortium for the express purpose of expanding the scale of the locally-owned financial entities in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. This transaction gives us the size and scale to play a more active role in the development of our respective countries. We see this transaction as the first step in achieving even greater synergies, efficiencies and cross-territory marketing opportunities.”

“RBC has operated in the Caribbean for more 100 years – longer than we have been in many parts of Canada. We remain committed to the future of the Caribbean and to a vision of digital innovation that transcends traditional services,” said Johnson. “This transaction will allow us to realign and focus our strategy on Caribbean markets where we can achieve that vision most successfully.”

“Self-determination is the highest level of empowerment – and the indigenous banks acquiring this business will now have an increased opportunity to influence the development of their communities,” said Johnston.

Johannes added, “And speaking on behalf of the local banks, we embrace and eagerly anticipate that opportunity.”

The consortium was advised by PwC (JA), led by Wilfred Baghaloo, who added, “this transaction demonstrates that Caribbean countries and businesses have the capacity and capability to come together when the circumstances are right.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RBC will release its first-quarter 2020 results and host an earnings conference call on 21 February 2020.

RBC

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Caribbean & World

Diversion of traffic to facilitate road closure Moliniere

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The general public is advised that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation in collaboration with the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has made alternative traffic arrangement for the Western Main Road Corridor, Moliniere area.

The diversion of traffic will be as follows:

  • Effective Friday, 13 December from 7 am, heavy trucks will not be allowed to use the Western Main Road. All heavy trucks and trailers are advised to use the Eastern Main Road and other alternative routes. The RGPF will issue an advisory in that regard.
  • Effective Monday, 16 December 2019 from 7 am, all other vehicles are advised to use the alternative routes as specified below.
    • Mt Moritz Concrete Road – to facilitate the traffic coming from St John, St Mark and St Patrick towards St George.
    • Jones Road to facilitate the traffic coming from St George towards the Western side.

This arrangement is made to facilitate geotechnical and engineering studies and design work on the road section between Mt Moritz junction and Moliniere. This intervention is urgently required to address the land slippage in that area.

The general public is advised that the diversion of traffic will be in effect until further notice as the ministry endeavours to enhance road safety in the area. The studies will commence in the coming weeks. The kind cooperation of homeowners in the area and the motoring public is anticipated.

The ministry apologises for any inconvenience.

For further information, please contact Najar Andall, Chief Technical Officer (Ag) and or Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary at 440-2271.

Ministry of Infrastructure Development

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