Scotiabank said Thursday it has struck an agreement to buy a 25 per cent stake in Thanachart Bank — the eighth largest bank in Thailand — for about $240 million.

The agreement also gives Scotiabank the right to boost its stake to 49 per cent by Dec. 31.

"Scotiabank is optimistic about Thailand's growth potential and we look forward to growing our operations in the Asia-Pacific region," Rick Waugh, Scotiabank's president and CEO, said in a release.

As part of the deal announced Thursday, Scotiabank said it will get seats on the Thanachart Bank board of directors, as well as participation in the bank's management.

Thanachart Bank has about $9.1 billion in assets and about 6,000 employees.

Scotiabank said the Thai bank has a growing network of 142 branches and 260 automated teller machines across Thailand. The bank is also the leading automobile lender in Thailand, with a 24 per cent market share for new autos.

Scotiabank said it has has operated in Thailand since 1981, offering corporate, trade finance and treasury services to local and international companies. The assets of the Scotiabank branch will be sold to Thanachart Bank.

Shares of Scotiabankfinished with a rise of 47 cents at $54.10 on the TSX.