February 8, 2019 / 6:36 PM / a year ago

Scotiabank sells El Salvador business to Imperia Intercontinental

SAN SALVADOR, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s Scotiabank has reached an agreement to sell its El Salvador banking and insurance business to Imperia Intercontinental in order to focus on other markets, the bank said on Friday.

The sale, which includes Scotiabank El Salvador, its subsidiaries as well as Scotia Seguros, must still be approved by regulators.

“This transaction with Imperia is in the best interest of our clients, workers and shareholders,” said Scotiabank executive Ignacio Deschamps, adding that the concluded sale will generate losses of around $170 million for the bank.

Scotiabank services at its locations will operate normally until the sale is concluded, the bank said in a statement.

Scotiabank began operating in El Salvador in 1997. The sale follows others in nine countries in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic.

The bank said the accumulated impact of these transactions, including the loss in El Salvador, should generate around $250 million.

In 2016, Imperia Intercontinental acquired Citibank’s El Salvador unit and is the main shareholder in Salvadoran financial institutions Banco Cuscatlan and Seguros e Inversiones S.A. (SISA).

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Dan Grebler

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