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Nov 25, 2020

Belize Bank and Scotia Bank Merger Gets the Go Ahead

Prime Minister John Briceño and his cabinet today confirmed that the merger between Belize Bank Limited and the Bank of Nova Scotia Limited has been approved.  The confirmation was sent via a press release which says that Governor of the Central Bank Ambassador Joy Grant informed the PM Briceño that at a meeting held on November eleventh, the Central Bank granted the approval of the merger. Briceño points out that under the Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Act this approval was granted by the Central Bank of Belize and not the Minister of Finance. A new Board for the Central Bank of Belize is expected to be appointed promptly. Cabinet also discussed the COVID-19 Pandemic. Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat briefed Cabinet and noted that there is no plan in place to address the crisis. Briceño’s administration will present its strategy during a virtual press conference on Thursday. Cabinet also agreed that five thousand Belizeans affected by the flooding situation will be assisted with food packages. The preliminary estimate of losses exceeds one hundred and fifty million dollars countrywide. This includes losses in agriculture, housing and infrastructure. Cabinet also gave Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing Julius Espat approval for initial funding to commence road works especially on the major roads and highways severely impacted by the recent rains and floods. It is also expected that the leadership of the Public Service Union will meet with the Cabinet to discuss the investigation into the “fire sale” of Government’s assets by the previous administration.  Finally, after being briefed by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, and Ambassador Grant, on the State of Public Finances and the Economy, Cabinet agreed that a new budget will be presented for the remainder of the financial year at its first working session of the House of Representatives in early December.

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