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January 17, 2022

Javier Garza Calderon among those eyeing Citi’s Mexican arm

By Shivam Mishra

Javier Garza Calderon, founder of “Entrepreneurs for the Fourth National Transformation (E4T),” is looking to bid for the local retail banking arm of Citigroup, Reuters has reported.

The Mexican entrepreneur stated that he was willing to bring together business leaders to form a group of investors to acquire Banamex, Citi’s Mexican arm.

“I perceive a great opportunity to rescue its historical, cultural and financial assets so that they return to the hands of Mexican businessmen,” Garza Calderon was quoted by the publication as saying.

He added, that “a team of national and international analysts and specialists will evaluate all the lines of business that Citi Banamex handles and subsequently we will make an offer.”

The news comes shortly after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged business leaders to acquire Citi’s assets to “Mexicanize” the bank.

Last week, Citi announced plans to close its consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations in Mexico.

As per media reports, the assets may be valued at $15bn, and may also attract the attention of Spanish lender Banco Santander.

Meanwhile last week, Citi reached an agreement with Singapore’s United Overseas Bank to offload its retail banking operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Valued at nearly $3.7bn, the deal includes retail banking and credit card businesses while excluding the bank’s institutional banking operations in these countries.

The divesture is part of Citi’s plans to exit 13 markets across the Asia Pacific and EMEA that is projected to release nearly $7bn of allocated tangible common equity over time.

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