TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO has agreed to acquire privately held U.S. energy investment bank Howard Weil Inc, boosting its oil and gas presence as crude prices sit near four-year highs.
The acquisition of the Houston-based firm will add to Scotiabank's equity sales, trading, research and investment banking capabilities in the sector, Canada's No. 3 bank said.
Scotiabank already has a substantial oil and gas operation through its Scotia Waterous division.
"Aligning Howard Weil's talent pool with Scotiabank's resources in corporate banking, institutional equity and oil and gas mergers and acquisitions will strengthen our ability to provide a seamless energy platform to our clients," Scotiabank Global Capital Markets head Mike Durland said in a statement.
Financial details of the deal were not released. Scotiabank said the transaction terms were not financially material to its operations.
Oil prices have been on a run in 2012. Front-month Brent was around $122 a barrel on Wednesday, not far from a four-year high of $128 hit last week.
Scotiabank shares were down 24 Canadian cents at C$52.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Reporting By Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson