Private banking group Axis Bank is all set to acquire Citi’s retail banking business in India, CNBC-TV18 reported citing sources. 

The deal is expected to be valued at around $1.7bn and the firms could make an announcement soon, sources told the publication. 

As per the data from the Reserve Bank of India, Citi’s loans in India were valued at $9.05bn (INR677bn) and deposits stood at $21.27bn (INR1.66 trillion) as of 31 March 2021. 

Through the acquisition, Axis Bank seeks to increase its footprint across India and bolster its position in the credit card and mortgage market.  

With over 4,000 employees, Citi is said to operate 35 branches across the country and control nearly 4% of India’s credit card market.

Notably, other Indian private players such as Kotak Mahindra Bank were also in the race to buy Citi’s business, but Axis Bank emerged as the lead contender. 

Other factors such as job security of Citi employees and competition were also considered before making the final call.

Citi’s divesture is part of its plans to exit retail markets across Asia, EMEA and Mexico to focus more on investment banking.

Earlier this year, announced plans to close its consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations in Mexico.

The announcement followed Citi’s deal with DBS to divest its retail banking operations in Taiwan.