Canada Looks South for Bacon

Santini, Laura
May 2003
Investment Dealers' Digest;5/19/2003, Vol. 69 Issue 20, p17
Trade Publication
Amid a decline in mergers and acquisitions worldwide, Canada's biggest banks are seeking to increase their business through small-scale acquisitions of U.S. brokerage firms. National Bank Financial Inc. is considering a U.S. acquisition. The Canadian bank had bought financial services investment bank Putnam Lovell Group Inc. in early 2002 for an undisclosed sum. Driving acquisitions of U.S. firms is the fact thatthere are limited growth opportunities in Canada, according to Dominic Petito, director of investment banking at Gerard Klauer Mattison. The U.S. market represents a far larger constituency of potential retail and institutional clients so it makes sense for Canadian banks to head towards the U.S. for growth opportunities. One reason Canadian companies are seeking growth opportunities in the U.S., some analysts said, is Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien's expressed distaste for big bank mergers. Because such deals require government support, banks are incapable of pursuing that avenue for expansion.


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