Bank of Nova Scotia Expanding Its Presence in Latin America and Asia

By Kraus, James R. | American Banker, May 22, 1997 | Go to article overview

Bank of Nova Scotia Expanding Its Presence in Latin America and Asia


Kraus, James R., American Banker


Bank of Nova Scotia, already the most international of Canada's big banks, has embarked on an ambitious program to expand its global operations.

"Our focus is primarily on Asia and Latin America," said Robert W. Chisholm, executive vice president in Toronto. "Many of these markets are growing, and they are underbanked."

As part of the current round of expansion in Asia, the $122 billion asset Canadian bank plans to open a representative office in Vietnam and a third Indian branch, in Coimbatore, a southern industrial city of around 3.5 million people.

Nova Scotia has also obtained approval from the Malaysian government to open a branch in the offshore financial center of Labuan. Last month, it also opened a branch in Beirut.

In Latin America, the bank is building a network of strategic alliances by taking minority stakes in local banks. Over the last few years, it has acquired a 35% stake in Argentina's Banco Quilmes SA, 30% in Chile's Banco Sud Americano, and 25% in Peru's Banco Sudamericano.

If all goes as planned, Bank of Nova Scotia will also increase its stake in Mexico's fourth-largest bank, Grupo Financiero Inverlat, to 55%, from 10%, by 2000. …

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