Scotiabank increases stake in Chinese Xian City Commercial Bank

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - The Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) has increased its stake in Xi'an City Commercial Bank to 14.8 per cent, with plans to eventually hold 20 per cent of the Chinese bank.
Scotiabank will invest a total of $162 million to hold the maximum stake allowed for foreign bank investments in China, the bank announced Wednesday.
"The China market has strong fundamentals with very good long-term growth prospects," said Rob Pitfield, group head of international banking at Scotiabank.
"Scotiabank's increased investment in Xi'an City Commercial Bank is a great opportunity for us to capitalize on the strength of the China market and on the strong relationship that we have already built with XACB."
Scotiabank said Wednesday it had acquired an additional 13.2 per cent interest in the bank and was awaiting regulatory approval to increase its holding to 18.1 per cent.
Scotiabank will then acquire additional shares from private sources to reach the total combined stake of about 20 per cent.
The acquisition makes Scotiabank one of XACB's major shareholders, with two representatives on the Chinese bank's board of directors and three representatives within the senior management team.
"Xi'an City Commercial Bank is a solid financial institution, with a strong presence as a leading bank in the city of Xi'an, a major city in western China with over eight million people," said Michele Kwok, Scotiabank's senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and Middle East.
"We are confident that this additional investment will enable Scotiabank to continue to add strategic value that will generate strong financial returns."
XACB is one of China's leading city commercial banks providing a full range of personal and commercial banking services in the Shaanxi province. It currently serves 1.2 million customers with 2,200 staff across its 113 branches.
Scotiabank operates in 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It has been in China since 1982. Scotiabank Group serves 14.6 million customers in some 50 countries worldwide.

Organizations: Scotiabank Group, Commercial Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia TSX BNS

Geographic location: China, Xian, TORONTO Asia-Pacific Xi'an Middle East Shaanxi

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