Scotiabank confirmed on Monday a statement made over the weekend by the Instituto para la Proteccion al Ahorro Bancario, a Mexican government agency, announcing that Scotiabank had submitted a formal sealed offer for IPAB’s remaining 36% of shares in Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat. This offer will remain sealed until the Public Auction process has been completed.

The process will continue as directed by Mexican legal and regulatory requirements. IPAB will at some point clarify the rules for the Public Auction. We anticipate the process will continue over the next two months.

“Scotiabank is committed to Mexico and to our customers and employees at Inverlat,” said Peter Godsoe, chairman and CEO, Scotiabank. “We have seen solid growth from Scotiabank Inverlat over the last few years. They have successfully marketed new and unique products and services, such as highly competitive rates on car loans and mortgages. We have consistently expressed our interest in acquiring the IPAB shares and have now formalized that interest by submitting a formal offer.”

Scotiabank has had a representative office in Mexico since 1964. In 1996 Scotiabank acquired a 10% stake in Inverlat and assumed management control of the Group. In November of 2000, Scotiabank increased the stake from 10% to 55%, assuming majority control. IPAB at that time indicated that its remaining 36% of shares would be sold no later than 2003. Scotiabank has consistently indicated its interest in these shares since that time.

Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat S.A. de C.V. is one of the principal financial groups in Mexico, with approximately 400 branches and 1,000 ATMs throughout Mexico. It employs almost 7,000 people in its main affiliates, Scotiabank Inverlat S.A. and Scotia Inverlat Casa de Bolsa S.A. de C.V.