RBC expects $23-million loss on sale of its Suriname unit to Republic Bank

TORONTO – Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) has signed a deal to sell its subsidiary in Suriname as part of a more focused approach to the Caribbean region.

The buyer is Republic Bank Ltd., which is based in Trinidad and operates in several Caribbean countries.

“As we continue to focus our Caribbean operations on markets in which we can be a leading competitor for the long-term, we have made the decision to sell RBC Suriname to Republic Bank Limited,” Kirk Dudtschak, head of RBC Caribbean Banking, said in a statement.

“This transaction supports the successful repositioning of our Caribbean business for the future and allows us to focus on markets where we can strengthen our operational capabilities and where we see opportunities for growth.”

RBC didn’t disclose what Republic will pay, but the Canadian bank expects to record a $23-million loss, mostly because of a writedown of goodwill and other intangible assets.

The bank said the loss is an estimate and will be reflected in its second-quarter results, which will be discussed on May 28.

RBC has been reducing its presence in the Caribbean region.

It sold its Jamaican banking operations in a deal that closed last June and said in November that its wealth management division would pull out of the region.