RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Thailand

Bank of Nova Scotia seeks Asian acquisitions

The lender shifts its eyes on Asia as economic growth in Latin America falls short from expected.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) is continuing to look for acquisitions in Asia after having built a sizable presence in Latin America, Chief Executive Rick Waugh said Wednesday.

"We are looking around," he said. "Because the Canadian brand is strong, the Canadian brand on financial institutions is strong and we've been in those markets, we are getting invited to do many things there, many that we're not taking but we will look for opportunities in Asia when they present themselves."

"Our platform in Latin America is pretty well flushed out," he said, adding that there's "definitely" room to grow organically, with the possibility for some acquistions there.

He was speaking at a financial services conference hosted by his bank's securities firm, Scotia Capital.

Waugh didn't elaborate on which countries in Asia the bank is targeting.

Waugh said the bank is also closely watching political risk, and in Latin America, economic growth isn't as strong as hoped, but the countries there are growing, particularly in comparison to European countries.

View the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

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