Five months ago, in June, Scotiabank announced that it was selling its Scotiabank Belize operation to the Ashcroft Alliance's Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, which is the holding company that owns and operates The Belize Bank Limited. It would have created the single largest bank in Belize - but the sale was subject to regulatory approval -which, it was said, would take three months.
But, the Barrow Administration was opposed to the sale, and even as the Central Bank of Belize reviewed it, it became clear that PM Barrow wanted the decision left for the next government.
Tonight, reports indicate that the deal, long delayed by the UDP's political opposition to it, is about to be finalised. We could not get confirmation form the Minister of State in the Ministry of France Chris Coye, who referred us to the Central Bank. We're still waiting for and answer from the governor, Joy Grant, but sources tell us that the 35 million US dollar deal is about to be closed - no doubt item one on the checklist for the Alliance - which had many epic public battles with the Barrow administration.
We'll keep following the story - which will have far reaching effects on the banking sector. There are also concerns about the large amounts of foreign currency retained earnings that Scotiabank has accumulated - which they would extract from the system over time.Channel 7