CIBC considering U.S. stock listing for Caribbean banking subsidiary

CIBC considering U.S. stock listing for Caribbean banking subsidiary
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TORONTO — Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce is considering a U.S. stock listing for its Caribbean bank subsidiary.

The Canadian bank (TSX:CM) said no decision has been made, but a U.S. listing would provide FirstCaribbean International Bank access to a larger investor base, enhanced liquidity and greater access to capital to support long-term growth.

“To be clear, FCIB is already listed on some stock exchanges. There are already minority shareholders,” CIBC chief executive Victor Dodig told an investor presentation Wednesday.

But he added that a New York listing for the Caribbean bank subsidiary would be an interesting avenue because the United States has the deepest capital market in the world.

FirstCaribbean was formed in 2002 when CIBC West Indies Holdings and Barclays Bank PLC Caribbean operations merged. CIBC acquired Barclays stake in 2006 and became the majority shareholder.

Based in Barbados, FirstCaribbean has over 2,700 staff and operates in 17 countries. It has stock market listings in Barbados and other small markets in the region.

Dodig said FCIB is “performing very, very well even though it’s (going through) incredible natural hardships, particularly over the last little while.”

He added that a U.S. listing for FCIB is one of the options under consideration to recognize its value, as CIBC aims to grow its dividends “sensibly” and remain near the midrange of its the dividend payout ratio.

The possibility of a U.S. stock listing for FirstCaribbean comes after CIBC’s recent acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp for US$5 billion.

The Canadian Press

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