Friday, October 01, 2010

NCB To Be Privatized

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Friday October 1, 2010 – St Vincent and the Grenadines' state-owned National Commercial Bank (SVG) Limited will soon have private ownership.

The government has reached agreement with the East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (ECFH) of St Lucia to take over 51 percent share in the national bank.

The government will retain the balance of shares, with the intention of divesting 29 percent of that to the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Insurance Service, citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines, including bank staff and citizens of the region within the next 12 months.

The move followed the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ invitation to ECFH, parent company of the Bank of St Lucia Limited, to consider acquiring an interest in the bank.

“In pursuance of the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ stated policy on the privatization of the Bank, the ECFH Group’s vision of regional expansion, and in support of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s (ECCB) efforts at strengthening the banking system through mergers and alliances, ECFH was pleased to accept the invitation,” a statement from the St Lucian bank said.

All formalities of the acquisition are expected to be finalized by October 31st.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, but the ECFH said it expected the approval to be forthcoming.

ECFH is the product of a 2001 merger of the largest commercial bank and the sole development bank in St Lucia.