Scotiabank to Sell Gold in Mexico, Dubai

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"The bank's total revenue from precious-metals trading was $245M last year."

Bank of Nova Scotia, which sells gold coins and bars to clients in Canada through an online store, plans to establish similar programs in countries such as Mexico and Dubai, Vice Chairman Barry Wainstein said.

"We're looking at a number of different countries simultaneously," Mr. Wainstein said in an interview. "In 2011, we may be up and running in one or two countries."

Canada's third-largest bank by assets has been expanding its ScotiaMocatta business, which trades and distributes metals such as gold and has roots that date back to 1671. The bank's total revenue from precious-metals trading was $245 million ($246 million) in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, a 53% increase from $160 million two years earlier. ScotiaMocatta doesn't disclose its financial results.

"We think we can roll out our retail product suite to a number of other countries," said Mr. Wainstein, who is also the global head of foreign exchange and precious metals for the lender's Scotia Capital investment-banking unit.

ScotiaMocatta opened its so-called eStore in September 2009, allowing Canadians to purchase physical gold valued at up to $10,000 by ordering online. Clients outside of Canada, or those buying larger amounts, typically do so through wholesalers, Wainstein said.

About 60% of eStore users aren't Scotiabank clients, said Wainstein, who declined to say how many customers have used the site.

The Toronto-based lender, which has operations in about 50 countries, may expand in Mexico because of ties to its Scotiabank Inverlat consumer bank.

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