Undercapitalized Scotiabank’s new acquisition.

Scotiabank is picking up a 51% stake in Banco Colpatria. I think it is pretty awful how big banks have their businesses essentially underwritten by the central banks and governments of the world, and then they scoop up acquisitions like these. Oh well. Scotiabank still has horrendously bad TCE numbers (under 3.5%, only CIBC and National Bank of Canada are worse), and in a lot of ways they look as bad as Lehman Brothers.

Interestingly, Scotiabank’s CFO says the bank will have 7-7.5% Tier 1 Capital ratio by 2013, as reaching that target puts them in good financial health. But this is still way too low. Canada’s banks remain among the world’s least capitalized. Getting new over-valued acquisitions like Banco Colpatria is not the best idea in my estimation. They should be aggressively strengthening their balance sheets.


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