Royal Bank to sell RBC Jamaica to Sagicor Group for undisclosed price

TORONTO – The Royal Bank (TSX:RY) has agreed to sell two Jamaican subsidiaries for an undisclosed amount to Sagicor Group Jamaica Ltd., but says it remains committed to the region.

The Canadian bank says Sagicor has an established financial business in Jamaica that has a size and complementary capabilities that RBC Jamaica doesn’t possess.

Dave McKay, who heads RBC’s personal and commercial banking group, said the deal will allow it to reposition its Caribbean business to focus on regions where it has significant market share.”

“We are focused on strengthening our business performance, service and competitiveness in markets where we can be a leading competitor over the long term,” McKay said.

Although RBC didn’t release details of the transaction with Sagicor, it announced it will book an estimated $60-million writedown related to its 2008 acquisition of one of the subsidiaries, RBTT Securities Jamaica.

The loss will be reflected in RBC’s first quarter, which ends Jan. 31.