Friday, March 1, 2024

BNB offer stays


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Republic Bank Limited is unlikely to offer more than the current market price of approximately $5.57 per share to shareholders of Barbados National Bank (BNB).
That’s the word from David Dulal Whiteway, managing director of Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the parent company of BNB which is trying to get 100 per cent control of the local bank, once described as the jewel in the Republic Bank crown.
Whiteway said BNB’s PE ratio (its share price relative to the annual net profit earned by the company per share) was even higher than its parent company’s, thus the current market price was more than a fair representation of BNB’s true share value.
He told the DAILY NATION that Republic Bank would inject about US$95 million into the Barbados economy as a result of the proposed buyout.
Republic Bank’s general counsel Jacqueline Quamina said after receiving the green light from local regulatory officials, the Trinidadians want to wrap up the deal by yearend.
Whiteway and managing director Robert Le Hunte said BNB wanted Barbadians to view he Republic Bank move as another vote of confidence in the local economy.
Le Hunte added: “Over the past two years we have invested no less than $30 million in new computer systems, a new Broad Street, Bridgetown branch and our property at Limegrove in St James.
“We have used the last two years of moderate growth to retool the organisation and preparing it for the future. That is definitely a vote of confidence in the future of the Barbados economy.”
According to the BNB boss, Republic Bank had put a larger percentage of its investment capital in Barbados over the last five years, than it had in other countries where the Trinidadians had acquired financial institutions such as Guyana and Grenada.
The Republic Bank is hoping local investors will use some of the cash from the buyout to invest in the parent company.
Republic already owns 65.13 per cent of BNB’s 96 million shares. The Government of Barbados owns 17 million of the outstanding shares, 9.6 million are owned by the National Insurance Board and a significant number is owned by the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited.


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