Bank of Nova Scotia, the Canadian lender with operations in more than 55 countries, is considering acquisitions in Brazil, according to the bank’s CEO Brian Porter.

"The bank has a history of being acquisitive and that could be anywhere within our footprint," Bloomberg quoted Porter as saying.

Porter’s comment after the bank’s annual investors meeting in Ottawa come after Mexican publication El Financiero reported that Scotiabank and a Mexican lender are in negotiations to buy the Brazil and Mexico operations of London-based HSBC Holdings.

Porter said: "Brazil will come back. The economy will come back, there’s no question about that."

"It’s an exciting market and an attractive market", he added.

According to the Bloomberg report, the lender is also targeting Peru, Chile and Colombia along with Mexico, as countries offering the growth potential.

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Scotiabank has spent about C$8.5bn on takeovers in the past five years, including the $1bn purchase of 51% of Colombia-based Banco Colpatria Red Multibanca Colpatria, its largest foreign purchase.