Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 5th 2014 Contents Canada s Scotiabank
announced in Toronto yes-
terday that it would close 35
of its over 200 branches in
the Caribbean and that it
would sever 1,500 full-time
employees, including 500 in
its international operations.
In a news release, Scotia-
bank said it expected to record
certain charges in its fiscal
2014 fourth quarter earnings,
aggregating to a total of
approximately $451 million
Of the Caribbean, Scotia-
bank said: "Due to the pro-
longed economic recovery and
continued uncertain outlook,
these additional amounts
bring the net carrying value
in line with the expected net
The bank said it had started
restructuring initiatives "in
order to improve the speed
and quality of service it pro-
vides its customers, to reduce
costs in a sustainable manner,
and to achieve greater oper-
"The bank intends to record
a restructuring provision of
approximately $148 million in
the fourth quarter. The major-
ity of the restructuring pro-
vision relates to employee sev-
erance charges in the bank s
Canadian banking and inter-
national banking divisions and
will affect people at all levels
of the organisation."
The statement said "in
international banking, the
charges are primarily for clos-
ing or downsizing approxi-
mately 120 branches, which
will allow us to focus on high-
growth markets, minimise
branch overlap, and realise
synergies resulting from recent
In a conference call, Brian
Porter, chief executive officer
of Scotia, said of 120 branches
to be closed across the bank s
network, 35 would be shut-
tered in Mexico and "about
35" in the Caribbean.
In response to a question
from a Canadian banking ana-
lyst during the conference call,
Porter said: "In some of these
(Caribbean) countries, we are
just overbranched and we have
to size it to the economic real-
ities of these economies."
Scotiabank operates in 21
countries in the region.
Scotiabank T&T, which is
owned 51 per cent by its
Toronto-based parent, was
contacted for comment about
how the changes would
impact on T&T, but did not
respond up to press time.
The bank also wrote down
the value of its unremitted
dividends from a 27 per cent
stake of a bank in Venezuela
as it "adopted a revised
Scotiabank said it announce
its year-end and fourth quar-
ter results for fiscal 2014 on
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
British Airways has announced that from the
spring of 2015, it will be commence an additional
flight to Tobago to increase airlift to the island.
Colm Lacy, the company's head of commercial
(Gatwick), told the UK launch of the BA Tobago
Legends Football Classic in London, England, that BA
was adding the flight because of increased demand
for the route.
Lacy explained, "This is being driven by demand on
the route and we felt that we could allow visitors to
the island the opportunity to stay seven days, 11
days or 14 days."
The additional flight will be shared with Antigua.
Lacy said as Tobago continued to grow as a
destination, BA would be interested in exploring non-
stop direct flights to Tobago.
Tracy Davidson-Celestine, secretary for tourism
and transportation in the Tobago House of
Assembly, said with the BA flight and some other
arrangements being put in place, she is now satisfied
that Tobago had the necessary airlift out of England.
British Airways to add airlift to Tobago
ICT has changed the way in which industrial-
isation for small economies like T&T can happen,
said Ronald Hinds, chairman of the e-commerce
Roundtable of T&T.
He said 30 years ago, industrialisation was seen
as a manufacturing and import substitution and
the infrastructure that was important for that world
was roads, ports and packaging.
"In this era that world still exists, but the question
is what are the ports and the roads in this digital
era? It is the Internet and payment systems because
these facilitate the industries of this era. Transfor-
mation and diversification mean we need to get
into other businesses. Any area a business wants
to get into, even if it is brick and mortar, technology
is necessary to enhance competitiveness and effi-
ciency," he said.
Hinds spoke to the Guardian yesterday at a media
conference at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port-
of-Spain, on the upcoming ICT Business and Inno-
vation Symposium 2014. The ICT forum, to be held
from November 9-12 at the Hyatt Regency, will be
hosted by the Ministry of Science of Technology.
He gave the example of how the conference can
shed light on risk of doing business in a digital
"One of the issues is security in a digital world.
We read in the newspapers about places getting
hacked. This happens because we live in a world
where a lot more information is shared digitally
and it means that new threats get exposed. People
need to know the legislative response to those
threats, what is the Government doing. People also
need to know what the private sector is doing to
protect themselves. Businesses need to know how
the new digital world can help in marketing and
things like that."
Hinds said issues about ICT sector throughout
the Caribbean region world be highlighted at the
"Many times we face the same problems with
our Caribbean neighbours and those similar problems
require similar solutions. There are also commercial
opportunities for businesses because if a company
solves a problem in T&T and other regional countries
have the same problems, there is also the opportunity
for these businesses. That kind of information ben-
efits governments and the private sector."
He said ICT can empower small countries like
"It gives us a reach that we would not have oth-
erwise have. It provides for many businesses a lower
cost of entry than would have been the case many
"Just look at the media. Many years ago you
would have needed to have a certain capital to start
a newspaper, but now a blogger can put out the
information in a different way."
ICT expert Ronald Hinds:
Brian Porter, president and CEO of Scotiabank
Scotiabank closing 35
LONDON---Oil prices slumped to
multi-year lows yesterday after Saudi
Arabia cut the price of oil sold to the
US, a move that is shaking an already
volatile market but will likely give the
world economy an unexpected stimu-
The 25 per cent or so slide in oil prices
since the summer could boost consumer
spending and business investment in
many economies around the world as
fuel bills fall.
But not everyone s a winner. Oil-pro-
ducing countries like Russia and
Venezuela, which have high extraction
costs and whose budgets rely on
assumptions of relatively high energy
prices, stand to lose out.
And lower prices could eventually
slow down booming production in the
US, offsetting the benefit of lower energy
costs for consumers and businesses.
US oil dropped another two per cent
yesterday to US$77.19, at one point
falling to US$75.84, the lowest level since
October 2011. It was trading at US$100
a barrel as recently as July. Brent, the
international benchmark, declined 2.3
per cent, to US$82.82, having earlier
fallen to US$82.08, its lowest level in
just over four years.
Adam Slater, senior economist at
Oxford Economics, reckons the recent
fall in oil prices, if sustained, could add
around 0.4 per cent to GDP in the US
in two years, and a little less in Europe.
China, which is the second-largest oil
consumer and on track to become the
largest net importer of oil, could see
GDP 0.8 per cent higher than it other-
wise would have been.
Though a drop in demand is a factor
in the current slump amid concerns over
global growth, Slater says supply-side
factors are having a much bigger impact
than back in 2008, when demand plum-
meted as the global economy tanked.
Oil prices tumble on Saudi discount move
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