(QCOSTARICA) It is said the businesses of Citigroup Central America could be valued at about US$1.1 billion in a sale.

According to a report by the Washington Post, though Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) is conducting due diligence on the assets, a deal may not be reached, said people asking not to be identified discussing private information.

An acquisition of the Costa Rica and Panama businesses would be the second such deal between the banks in six months.

Last October Citibank announced it was scaling back consumer banking and exiting some markets by the end of 2015.

Representatives for Scotiabank and Citigroup declined to comment.

Also in talks with Citigroup was Spain’s Banco Popular Español, in a sale that would have included operations in Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Talks broke off in March because it didn’t fit with the Madrid-based bank’s strategy.

Scotiabank operates in more than 55 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. The Toronto-based bank has targeted Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru as countries offering the best opportunities for growth though Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter has said the bank will be “opportunistic” anywhere Scotiabank has operations.

In a deal that was completed this month, Scotiabank, in December agreed to acquire Citigroup’s retail – and commercial – banking operations in Peru. That deal included eight branches and about 130,000 customers.

In 2011,  Scotiabank acquired a majority stake in Banco Colpatria, in its first major investment in Colombia. In that deal, Scotia acquired 51 per cent of Banco Colpatria for US$500-million in cash and with 10 million common shares, gives it effective control of Colombia’s fifth-largest bank.

Source: The Washington Post with Bloomberg

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