Bank of Baroda up for sale in Trinidad
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: The Bank of Baroda in Trinidad is up for sale, and the giant ANSA McAl had made a bid for its total assets, according to press reports.
Former Finance Minister Larry Howai in the People’s Partnership Government 2010-15, and ANSA McAL special adviser to the financial services sector, has confirmed that that the group had put in a bid, while Kare Nagabhushana, the bank’s managing director, has withheld any comment on the proposed sale.
The Bank of Baroda is India’s state-owned bank with over 5,500 branches world wide, and it began operations in Trinidad and Tobago in 2007 with three branches in Port-of-Spain, Chaguanas and San Fernando. Monday February 11 is the closing date for offers to acquire the bank’s assets.
The bank’s corporate profile primarily catering to corporate small and medium-size enterprises, retail, mortgage and forex sector with a capital of $500 million. Additionally, the ANSA Merchant Bank and the Bank of Baroda are authorized dealers in foreign exchange. The other authorised dealers in foreign exchange Citibank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, Development Finance Ltd., First Citizens, Massy GFC, JMMB, Royal Bank, Scotiabank, NCB Global Finance and Republic Bank.
It is reported in the Economic Times of India in December 17, 2018 that the Bank of Baroda intends to close shop in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Ghana by June 30, 2019. These three branches contribute less than one percent each to the bank consolidated business operations. Revenue from Ghana stood at Rs. 75.31, Trinidad and Tobago Rs. 23.90 and Guyana Rs. 26.38.
ANSA McAl business operations include automotive sales and servicing, construction, financial services real estate, retail and media. It also has business activities in several Caribbean countries and Florida.
The Bank of Baroda had its eyes on the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana with particular focus on the large Indian diaspora segment but this did seem to materialize as the management had projected . Also, its advertising promotions here were not well-received by all sectors of corporate world.
It has reported that since in the early 1960s, the Bank of Baroda had been trying to get a licence to do business here, but with no success until 2007. No other names are mentioned as possible contenders of the bank’s portfolio.
There are several other business operations in Trinidad, especially in clothing, jewelry, furniture and food, and seemed to be doing well, especially during Indian Arrival Day May 30, and Diwali, and other Indian-related festivals