Republic Bank to Bring Oil and Gas and Mortgage Financing Expertise to Ghana

Accra, Ghana: Monday July 29, 2013: Republic Bank Limited, headquartered in Trinidad & Tobago, currently holds 32.02% of the shares of HFC Bank Ghana Limited, making Republic Bank the largest single shareholder of HFC Bank. Republic Bank initially purchased an 8.9% stake in HFC in December, 2012, later increasing its investment to 32.02%, following the acquisition of shares previously held by the Aureos Africa Fund. Both of these share purchases were undertaken with the full knowledge and agreement of the board of directors of HFC Bank.

In collaboration with HFC Bank, Republic Bank sought from the Ghana SEC an exemption from the requirement to make a mandatory takeover offer at this time. The SEC declined to grant the exemption and the Bank continues to have discussions with both regulators about the way forward.

Republic Bank has also been in discussions with the Bank of Ghana, as regulator of the financial sector there, to ensure that it is fully compliant with the regulatory framework of Ghana's financial sector.

Republic Bank Limited is the largest and most profitable independent bank in the English-speaking Caribbean, having served the region for 176 years, and has assets in excess of US$8.6 billion and profit after tax of US$185 million as at September 30, 2012. Its total shareholders' equity is in excess of US$1.23 billion, and is a well capitalised financial institution, with a capital adequacy ratio of 30% versus the required 8% for banking institutions.

Republic Bank has played a significant role in the oil and gas sector in Trinidad and Tobago and through its investment in and collaboration with HFC Bank, intends to bring that expertise and skill to Ghana for the benefit of this country's energy industry and ultimately the people of Ghana. The mortgage market in Trinidad and Tobago is very well developed and Republic Bank continues to play a major role in the provision of mortgages to facilitate home ownership in the Trinidad and Tobago market, as well as in the other Caribbean territories of Barbados, Guyana and Grenada, where the Bank operates subsidiaries. The Bank's market share in these markets is in excess of 40%. In fact its mortgage portfolio currently stands at more than US$600 million in Trinidad and Tobago alone. Republic Bank intends to use its vast expertise in this area to enhance the mortgage offerings of HFC and help to grow that bank's base, to the benefit of the home-owning public in Ghana.

Republic Bank's collaboration with HFC has, from inception, been cordial and open and continues to be so as it seeks to add value to the latter bank's offerings and ability to serve the needs of the Ghanaian public. Republic Bank has a proud legacy of service in all markets in which it serves and every acquisition and merger in which it has engaged, has created value for all stakeholders, including its customers and the people of the respective country. In fact, Republic Bank's support of its Caribbean subsidiaries, post acquisition, has resulted in all cases in market share growth and increased profitability.

Republic Bank continues at this time to engage in discussions with the SEC and the Bank of Ghana regarding the possibility of a waiver of the mandatory offer, but is prepared and able to make an offer for all of the remaining shares in HFC Bank, should it be mandated to do so by the regulators.

July 31, 2013
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