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Barclays sells stake in Caribbean bank

14th March 2006
By Staff Writer

Barclays is selling its 43.7% stake in FirstCaribbean International to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) for $1.08 billion, giving the West Indies bank a single controlling shareholder.

Barclays and CIBC both received shares of 43.7% in the Caribbean bank in 2002, when the bank was formed by the merger of their Caribbean businesses. The remaining 12.6% is publicly held.

Naguib Kheraj, group finance director of Barclays, said: "FirstCaribbean has performed well since the local businesses of Barclays and CIBC were combined in 2002. The merger has created value for all shareholders in FirstCaribbean as well as benefits for customers and the regional economy.

"With the integration of the businesses complete, FirstCaribbean is now well positioned for its future development. Barclays and CIBC both believe that the future strategy of FirstCaribbean is best pursued with one controlling shareholder and we are pleased that we have reached this preliminary agreement."

Barclays anticipates that the transaction will complete late in 2006.

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