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Financial News

Sep 2009 Financial News

Banking's Best Kept Secret

Sep 30, 2009

BCBH posted US$62.4 million in net income this year, up from US$60.4 million in 2008, "acceptable spite of very challenging circumstances", says its executive chairman Lord Ashcroft in the group's just released 2009 annual report.

The company operates in the region with a quieter presence than some of its more well-known Caribbean banking competitors.

Its Trinidadian chief executive officer, career banker Lyndon Guiseppi, has taken on the challenge now of creating a pan-Caribbean BCBH presence in investment grade jurisdictions.

These include The Bahamas, Cayman islands, Costa Rica, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, Guiseppi told the Business Express in an interview at his office at Maritime Plaza, Barataria last Tuesday.

He joined the banking group last August and is intent on executing his mandate to diversify the group's presence.

"By any benchmark, we are one of the top ten banking groups in the Caribbean," Guiseppi says, noting that a presence in other countries will bring benefits because of the good credit rating of countries like Trinidad and Tobago.

He is hopeful that it will also bring benefits to investors when the group cross-lists on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange in a few days.

BCBH has received approval from the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Port of Spain stock exchange and is targeting its listing on the local stock market between October 9-12.

It will offer four million shares to local and regional investors shortly.

A price has not been determined and will reflect the share's closing price on the London Exchange the day before it is listed here, Guiseppi says.

He has also assembled a powerhouse team on the board of directors including former Central Bank Governor and current CLICO chairman Dr Euric Bobb as well as former finance minister Wendell Mottley who is the managing director of banking and investment group Credit Suisse in New York.

He joined the BCBH Board in July.

Guiseppi describes both as well respected men of impeccable character who are extremely knowledgeable and will bring considerable experience to the board of directors.

He also has plans to help BCBH further spread its wings.

The group has already held discussions with another banking outfit and is exploring "several options" to establish a physical presence in the country, Guiseppi tells the Business Express.

This could happen in the medium term, he adds.

Trinidad Express
Wednesday, September 30th 2009