By Elesha George
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Gaston Browne said that his government will deny the vesting order for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB), if its principals do not follow government’s policy of ‘first right of refusal’ by local banks.
“So whatever arrangements they are making with whomever, all I have to say to them before they make any arrangements for the Antiguan branch, kindly speak to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda so that we can then speak to our domestic banks, to find out if they have an appetite to acquire some or all of the shares of FCIB and if they do otherwise, then we’ll take a position that the vesting order will not be issued and therefore the transaction will become null and void,” he said.
CIBC is the last of three Canadian-based banks in Antigua that is now expected to leave the island’s shores, as the Gilinski Group out of Colombia is rumoured to have acquired the majority of its shares. Neither the Gilinski Group nor CIBC have issued an official statement on the acquisition, but rumours are that the sale is expected to be confirmed between this week and next week.
A source with connections to the institution confirmed the possible sale to OBSERVER media on Monday, November 4th 2019 but up to press time an email sent to the CIBC remained unanswered.
Read more in today’s newspaper