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Scotia Bank may exit Puerto Rico

Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest lender by assets, is proposing to sell its Puerto Rican banking unit. The business is said to be valued at about $600 million. The bank is in the early stages of exploring strategic options for Scotiabank de Puerto Rico that could include selling it to a private-equity firm or other lender in the region, according to sources. The bank has begun discussions about its future in Puerto Rico and could still decide to keep the unit. The lender with C$792 billion ($700 billion) in assets is porposing to exit from Puerto Rico, which is among the smallest and most troubled banking markets in the U.S as it invests in better growth opportunities in Latin America. The bank, which has begun operations in Puerto Rico for more than 100 years, more than doubled its presence there by acquiring the loans and deposits of the failed R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico in 2010. It has 35 branches and $5.1 billion in assets as of 30 June.

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