Republic Bank, HFC Deal To Benefit Oil And Gas Sector

The Republic Bank Limited of Trinidad and Tobago is to bring its expertise in oil and gas financing and mortgages to the country through the acquisition of 32.02 per cent in the HFC Bank Limited. The bank said in a press statement copied to the Daily Graphic that its partnership with HFC was to add value to the indigenous bank�s offerings and to enhance its ability to serve the needs of the Ghanaian public. �Republic Bank has a proud legacy of service in all markets which it serves and every acquisition and merger, in which it has engaged, has created value for all stakeholders, including its customers and the people of the respective countries,� the statement said. Republic Bank, which is the largest financial institution in the English speaking Caribbean, acquired a 32 per cent stake in HFC earlier this year. Given that its current stake in HFC is beyond the 30 per cent mandatory takeover point�as contained in the country�s Code on Mergers and Takeovers�Republic Bank applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asking for a waiver from being mandated to take over HFC. The SEC, which regulates the capital market, however, declined the bank�s request and asked that it should make an offer to buy the other shareholders out. �Republic Bank continues to engage in discussions with the SEC and the Bank of Ghana regarding the possibility of a waiver of the mandatory offer,� the statement said, but added that the bank was �prepared and able to make an offer for all of the remaining shares in HFC Bank should it be mandated to do so by the regulators.� It also noted that its previous acquisitions in other jurisdictions had resulted in market share growth and increased profitability, a trend the bank said would also reflect in the case of HFC. Republic Bank has operated for over 176 years and has assets in excess of US$8.6 billion, according to the statement. Its profit after tax was US$1.23 billion in 2012, the statement added.