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    BMO seeks Eastern Canada grocery partner

    Bank of Montreal,Canada's fifth-largest bank, is seeking a partner in Quebec and the Maritime provinces to expand its chain of branches in grocery stores, says Robert Pearce, head of consumer banking.

    Bank of Montreal,Canada's fifth-largest bank, is seeking a partner in Quebec and the Maritime provinces to expand its chain of branches in grocery stores, says Robert Pearce, head of consumer banking.

    The bank-which has 99 outlets in grocery stores run by Calgary-based Canada Safeway Ltd., Stellarton, N.S.-based Sobeys Inc. and Montvale, N.J.-based Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.-plans to open another 20 this year, Mr. Pearce said in an interview.

    "There are a number of chains with good distribution in both Quebec and Atlantic Canada. "We would probably find one partner that could cover both markets."
    BMO chairman Tony Comper is expanding the bank's consumer banking and wealth-management business as he pares back on investment banking

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