Scotiabank Expands Operations in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic Through Acquisitions of Grupo Altas Cumbres' Units



    GUATEMALA CITY, SANTO DOMINGO, LIMA, SANTIAGO and TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ -
Scotiabank today announced the Bank is expanding its operations in Guatemala
and the Dominican Republic through an agreement reached with Grupo Altas
Cumbres (GAC) of Chile. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed, all
regulatory approvals have been received and the deal is expected to close
within days.
    Under this agreement Scotiabank will acquire GAC's Banco de Antigua in
Guatemala and select assets of Banco de Ahorro y Credito Altas Cumbres in the
Dominican Republic. As previously announced, the agreement also includes an
option to purchase GAC's bank in Peru, Banco del Trabajo.
    "We are always looking for the opportunity to grow strategically in high
potential markets, particularly those where we have an existing footprint,"
said Rob Pitfield, Executive Vice President, International Banking,
Scotiabank. "Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to grow in Central
America and the Caribbean."
    Banco de Antigua was established in Guatemala in 1997. With 47 branches
and 98 special service "Rapidito" kiosks, Banco de Antigua serves
160,000 clients and reported US$82 million in total assets at the end of June
2007. Scotiabank first entered the Guatemala market in 2006 through the
acquisition of Costa Rican based Corporacion Interfin, which offered leasing
products in Guatemala. In 2007, Scotiabank opened Scotia Leasing Guatemala
S.A.
    Banco de Ahorro y Credito Altas Cumbres has operated in the Dominican
Republic since 2002 and currently has six branches and 35 additional points of
sale, serving 39,000 clients. Banco de Ahorro y Credito Altas Cumbres reported
US$29 million in total assets at the end of June 2007. Scotiabank is acquiring
a selected portion of those assets.
    Scotiabank has been part of the Caribbean and Central America region
since 1889 when the Bank opened an office in Kingston, Jamaica. Some 118 years
later, Scotiabank is the leading bank in the region, with operations in
24 countries, including affiliates. Scotiabank is the only Canadian bank with
operations in five of the seven Central American countries, namely Costa Rica,
Belize, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala. The Bank now employs about
11,630 people in the region and serves more than two million customers.
Scotiabank now also has about 380 branches and 860 ABMs throughout the
Caribbean and Central America.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12.5 million customers in some
50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products
and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With $412 billion in assets (as at October 31, 2007), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit
www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: Frank Switzer, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416)
866-7238, frank_switzer@scotiacapital.com


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