Reuters exclusively revealed that Mexico is evaluating whether buying Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) Mexican consumer unit would help boost financial inclusion, potentially in combination with a state-run bank such as the Banco del Bienestar. U.S. lender Citigroup scrapped its sale of the Banamex unit last week and said it will instead list it, a surprise move coming amid talks to sell the business to Mexican billionaire German Larrea’s conglomerate Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX).
Mexico mulls benefits of Banamex purchase, eyes synergies with state bank
After Citi announced its IPO plans, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the government could acquire up to half of Banamex. Before Citi’s u-turn, banking sources said Grupo Mexico had been eyeing the unit for around $7 billion. Banamex will continue to be reported as part of Citi’s continuing operations until ownership falls below a 50% voting interest, at which point the business will be deconsolidated.