Banamex, the Mexican arm of US banking group Citigroup, could attract offers of up to $8bn, Bloomberg reported citing sources.

Grupo Financiero BanorteGrupo Financiero Inbursa, which is backed by billionaire Carlos Slim, mining mogul German Larrea and Grupo Financiero Mifel are among those in the race to buy the retail bank, the sources said.

Leading Mexican banking firm Banorte, which is behind Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, in the race, has been regarded as the top contender for the assets up for sale.

The sale process, which has been slow, is still ongoing and offers for the assets may change, the sources added.

In June, Spanish banking group Santander submitted a non-binding bid for Citi’s consumer banking business, but last month, it was eliminated from the bid.

According to sources, Citi rejected the $6bn offer from the Spanish lender.

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By GlobalData

Earlier this year, the US banking group announced plans to shutter its retail, small business and middle market banking business in Mexico.

The divesture is part of Citi’s global restructuring efforts to focus on institutional business, payments, lending, and a focused retail business in the US.

Last week, Inbursa investor relations head Frank Aguado said that the firm will buy Banamex only at a “reasonable” price.

Meanwhile, Larrea, who controls copper miner Grupo Mexico, has hired Grupo Aeromexico SAB chairman Javier Arrigunaga and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe, to advise him, the sources said.