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Bank backs off US share offer

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Bank backs off US share offer

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FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited (FCIB) has got cold feet.

The Barbadian-based bank announced late yesterday that in light of “market conditions at this juncture” it was withdrawing “the [United States] registered public offering and listing of its shares” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Weekend Nation investigations revealed that the decision came on the same day that a senior official of the NYSE notified the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) that the NYSE had approved the FCIB initial public offering (IPO).

FCIB’s withdrawal also came nine days after it filed an amended registration statement stating that its IPO would offer 9.6 million common shares, each for between US$22 and US$25 (up to US$240 million). The bank also announced its intention to sell an additional 1.4 million common shares outside of the IPO.

In its brief statement announcing its decision not to proceed with the IPO, FCIB stated: “FCIB had filed a registration statement in December 2017 relating to this public offering and proposed listing on the NYSE under the symbol “FCI”.”

In correspondence sent to the US SEC’s chief of information technology yesterday, NYSE head of corporate actions Benjamin Sawyer stated: “The New York Stock Exchange certifies its approval for listing and registration of the Common shares, no par value of FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited under the Exchange Act of 1934.”

FCIB did not specify the US “market conditions” it was concerned about. However its announcement came as various American media outlets reported that US stocks were trading lower and that market volatility was expected to continue.

Yesterday, international economist Lars Christensen, who heads Copenhagen-based research and advisory company Markets & Money Advisory, warned: “Two-thousand and eighteen hasn’t been a good year for the US stock market, and we expect more volatility going forward. We might very well see new lows in the coming months.”