By Latrishka Thomas
Discourse involving the sale of the Scotiabank branch in Antigua and Barbuda has been quiet for about a month, until now as Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced that just a few days ago, he received word that Scotiabank is willing to sit with the government to discuss the matter.
“I am pleased to report that within the last 48 hours I had a call from the Senior Vice President of Scotiabank, Mr Brendan King, who has indicated willingness for Scotia to sit with the government and to come up with an amicable solution to this situation,” he disclosed.
As such, there may be some good news on the horizon should the talks result in a favourable decision on the part of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
This announcement was made on Thursday at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the West Indies Oil Company’s (WIOC) Liquefied Petroleum Gas tank facility.
Upon making that discloser, Browne renewed the call for businesses like WIOC to invest in the purchase of Scotiabank.
“There’s an opportunity of West Indies Oil Company and other entities within Antigua and Barbuda to invest the acquisition of that branch which we hope will become a part of ECAB,” he added.
About a month ago, Prime Minister Browne attributed the halt in the discussions between the government and Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) to a disagreement relating to the immoderate amount of money RFHL demanded for the purchase of the Antigua branch.
In its letter to the government here, RFH claimed that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda had misconstrued its intention to value Scotiabank’s assets for the Antigua branch but Browne, imputed that RFH was attempting to extort his government into paying four times the amount that they [RFHL] would have paid to absorb Scotiabank’s assets.
Since then, there was no further word about the negotiations.