Scotiabank Increases Investment in Thailand's Thanachart Bank



    TORONTO and BANGKOK, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Scotiabank today announced that it
has completed the acquisition of an additional 24 per cent of Thanachart Bank,
Thailand's eighth-largest bank and leading automobile lender, for THB7,655
million approximately C$270 million. Scotiabank will purchase 416 million
shares from Thanachart Capital raising Scotiabank's holding in Thanachart Bank
to 49 per cent, the regulatory limit for foreign banks in Thailand.
    "The Thai market has solid fundamentals with good long-term growth
prospects," said Rob Pitfield, Group Head, International Banking, Scotiabank.
"Scotiabank's increased investment in Thanachart Bank is a great opportunity
for us to capitalize on the strength of the Thai market and on the strong
relationship that we have already built with Thanachart Bank."
    As a result of today's investment Thanachart Bank's major shareholders
now include Scotiabank, and Thanachart Capital Public Company Limited (holding
50.9 percent) with retail investors holding 0.1 percent. The higher stake in
Thanachart Bank will also increase the number of Scotiabank representatives on
Thanachart Bank's Board of Directors from two to three.
    "Through this investment, Scotiabank has re-affirmed its commitment to
supporting Thanachart Bank's growth and development initiatives," said
Suphadej Poonpipat, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive
Officer of Thanachart Bank. "The partnership between Thanachart Bank and
Scotiabank leverages the strengths of both of our institutions and is
strengthened by our shared commitment to the exciting potential of Thailand,"
said Suphadej.
    "Thanachart Bank is a solid financial institution, with a very strong
core business in the automobile sector and a solid management team," added
Michele Kwok, Senior Vice President, Asia/Pacific & Middle East. "We are
confident that this additional investment will enable Scotiabank to continue
to add strategic value that will generate strong financial returns."

    About Thanachart Bank

    Thanachart Bank is Thailand's eighth-largest bank in terms of assets and
the country's leading automobile lender. As of December, 31 2008 the
consolidated net income of Thanachart Bank and its subsidiaries was 1,870
million baht (C$67 million), an increase of 543 million baht or 40.9 percent
from the previous year.
    Going forward, Thanachart Bank will look to maintain its leadership
position in the robust Thai automobile financing sector, while at the same
time seeking to develop greater diversification in its lending portfolio by
increasing its focus on corporate finance. Other growth opportunities that
will see increased focus from the bank include SME loans, housing loans,
consumer loans (including credit cards) and trade finance.
    In order to meet the growing banking needs of the Thai market, Thanachart
Bank plans to open 40 new branches by the end of 2009 increasing its total
branch network to 255.

    About Scotiabank

    Scotiabank operates in 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with
about 650 employees. The bank primarily offers corporate and commercial
products and services, including loans, trade finance, treasury, precious
metals, foreign exchange, correspondent banking, loan syndications, securities
investment and retail mortgage financing in selected countries. Scotiabank has
been in Thailand since the Bank opened a Representative Office in Bangkok in
1981.
    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With 69,000 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 $508
billion in assets (as at October 31, 2008), 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: Napaporn Saengkaew, Thanachart Bank at
02-217-8000 or napaporn@thanachart.co.th; Krista Pawley, Scotiabank at (416)
866-3703 or Krista_Pawley@scotiacapital.com


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