Citi is keeping its Mexican banking unit Banamex. Sources told Reuters that Citi sees the Mexican bank as a solid business and has no plans to sell it.
In recent days, analysts and business columnists have speculated that leading businessmen in Mexico could be planning to buy Banamex as Citigroup tries to shed assets.
Telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim, the world’s second wealthiest man, was widely seen as a potential buyer, but his spokesman told Reuters on Friday that he was not in talks to acquire the bank.
Banamex, the second largest bank in Mexico, will reside in Citi’s “good bank,” known as Citicorp. Banamex has both commercial and retail banking operations. Citi declined to comment.
Citigroup’s acquisition of Banamex for $12.5 billion in 2001 was the largest ever in Mexico at the time and was part of a wave of foreign purchases after an economic crisis devastated the bank sector in the mid-1990s.