The Financial Post reports in its Friday edition that Bank of Nova Scotia previously offered to buy, and may still be interested in, Alberta's provincially owned ATB Financial, Finance Minister Joe Ceci said Thursday. The Post's Geoffrey Morgan writes that Mr. Ceci, whose NDP government has called an election for next month, said in a news release aimed at United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney that Scotiabank is interested in purchasing ATB Financial from the Alberta government. Neither Scotiabank nor ATB Financial has confirmed the existence of such a proposal. Mr. Ceci told the Post that when he was appointed Finance Minister in Rachel Notley's NDP government, he turned down a "detailed proposal" submitted by Scotiabank to purchase ATB, which provides small business loans in the province and operates a network of banking branches. "The previous government said this is something that is there, do you want to follow up with it?" Mr. Ceci said. Mr. Ceci's release said that Scotiabank is "sitting on a detailed proposal to privatize ATB," but did not indicate whether that was a new proposal, which would indicate the bank is still interested in an acquisition, or a four-year-old proposal.
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