TORONTO Jan 29 Royal Bank of Canada
said on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell its Jamaican
banking operations to Sagicor Group Jamaica Ltd.
The bank, Canada's largest, said the purchase price was
roughly the book value of the assets, but did not elaborate. It
expects to lose C$60 million ($54 million) from the transaction,
partly because of a goodwill writedown.
Sagicor Group Jamaica is controlled by Barbados-based
financial services company Sagicor Financial Corp,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
Royal Bank said it remained committed to the Caribbean but
would focus on regions there where it has a bigger market share.
The Jamaican market is dominated by Royal Bank's smaller
Canadian rival, Bank of Nova Scotia. Scotiabank, which
has been operating in the country since the late 1800s, has more
than 2,000 staff there and an island-wide network of about 35
"The sale of Royal Bank's Jamaica operations will likely
raise questions regarding the strategic implications for other
regions in the Caribbean that it operates," Barclays analyst
John Aiken said in a note to clients.
Aiken raised the possibility that Royal Bank would exit the
entire region if its operations there would fetch a high enough
Shares of Royal Bank were down 46 Canadian cents at C$69.10
in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.